President Kevin Heffernan says the society’s primary objective is to “encourage and inform dialogue”, whether that be with land owners or corporate owners, in an effort to help them “make decisions on facts, not innuendo and misperceptions.”
A primary example of this was illustrated though information regarding the evolutionary process of the industry; including industry collaboration an standards, re-using and recycling fluids, increasing additional stages of fracking in an effort to reduce pressure, use of other fluids like saline water, and on-site monitoring.
“When you hear people talking about stages in a horizontal well, they’re talking about isolating 100 meters, more or less, of that well and hydraulically fracturing that well, and then shifting and isolating another 100 meter section of the well.”
Heffernan adds, “It’s much more efficient in terms of the use of fluid, the use of energy, and resource recovery.”
The hydraulic fracturing stages are broken down into four.
The following information has been obtained from www.fracfocus.ca:
- Spearhead stage: Also referred to as an acid stage, it is generally a mix of water with diluted acid, such as hydrochloric acid. This serves to clear debris that may be present in the wellbore providing a clear pathway for fracture fluids to access the formation.
- Pad stage: A batch of carrying fluid without proppant that is used to break the formation and initiate the hydraulic fracturing of the target formation.
- Proppant stage: During this stage a mixture of water and sand (i.e. proppant) is fed into the wellbore. The proppant is composed of non-compressible material, such as sand, that will be carried by the fracture fluid into the formation and deposited. The proppant will remain in the formation once the pressure is reduced and ‘prop’ open the fracture network. Thus, maintaining the enhanced permeability created by the hydraulic fracture program.
- Flush stage: A volume of fresh water is pumped down the wellbore to flush out any excess proppant that may be present in the wellbore.
In regard to on-site monitoring, that’s done from a single truck often referred to as the Data Monitoring Van.
The van monitors and records the rate and pressure at which the fracturing fluid is pumped down the wellbore, the rates of the necessary additives present in the fracturing fluid and proppant concentration.
According to Heffernan, information regarding the hydraulic fracking process is of particular importance for this region, as he says Northeast B.C. is “the epicenter” of oil and gas activity in Western Canada.
Heffernan says drilling in the Montney region has increased 26 per cent in 2014 from the previous year, which now accounts for 90 per cent of drilling activity in the province.