CALGARY—Northern Canada now has a checklist for companies that want to conduct hydraulic fracturing, a process of natural gas extraction commonly known as “fracking.”
The Filing Requirements for Onshore Drilling Operations Involving Hydraulic Fracturing were developed to address the unique aspects of hydraulic fracturing within the NEB’s mandate under the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act (COGOA) to promote safety, environmental protection, and the conservation of oil and gas resources for onshore drilling and production in the North.
The filing requirements apply to hydraulic fracturing operations in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
The NEB says companies are required to begin following these requirements immediately when applying for any operations authorization drilling involving hydraulic fracturing in in those territories.
The information set out in the Filing Requirements does not prevent the Board from requesting any additional information it may find relevant, or from waiving certain Filing Requirements if they are not relevant to the applied-for work or activities.
The requirements were developed, at least in part, to address specific concerns heard during public consultations.
“The Board has heard the concerns of Canadians and is committed to continually improving the safety of hydraulic fracturing,” said Gaétan Caron, the NEB’s Chair and CEO. “One of the ways the Board does this is by clearly communicating what it requires of regulated companies for hydraulic fracturing and holding those companies accountable.”
The board says its requirements will be updated periodically to reflect relevant changes around the practice of hydraulic fracturing so decisions on COGOA-regulated activities continue to promote safety, protection of the environment and conservation of oil and gas resources in the North.
The National Energy Board is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada’s energy industry.