OGC and EAO both issue orders against oil and gas companies for fracking dams

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Several oil and gas companies operating in Northeast B.C. have been issued orders from both the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission and the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office regarding dams and reservoirs for their fracking operations.

Progress Energy has been ordered to draw down water levels at its Town Dam and Lily Dam north of Fort St. John to 10 percent of live storage capacity, after the Environmental Assessment Office found that Progress had not obtained an Environmental Assessment Certificate for the dams. Progress must also monitor and record water volumes on a weekly basis during frozen conditions, and on a daily basis when water on the surface is able to flow. The company must provide that information to the EAO’s Compliance and Enforcement upon request.

In late September, Progress was also issued five orders by the BC Oil and Gas Commission to draw down water levels to 50 percent of capacity at dams in Northeast B.C., though it is unclear if any of those are the same dams that are subject to the EAO’s order.

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The OGC also announced today that it has taken action on seven other dams in the region, in addition to the seven orders issued on September 29th. Nexen Energy, Saguaro Resources, and Conoco-Phillips have each been issued orders to remove all water from behind a total of seven dams near Fort St. John and Fort Nelson.

Nexen Energy is required to remove all live water storage at four dams, approximately 130 kilometres north of Fort Nelson after an inspection found that some of its dams displayed slumping, surface erosion and surface water channel erosion. Saguaro Resources needs to remove all live water storage behind two dams located approximately 140 kilometres northwest of Fort St. John. An inspection determined that one of its dams displayed slumping inside the berm, pooling water and erosion. Conoco-Phillips must remove water storage at a dam approximately 110 kilometres northwest of Fort St. John after an inspection found surface erosion.

All three companies have until December 15th to comply with the OGC’s Orders.

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