FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The BC Oil and Gas Commission announced today that it will be teaming up with Geoscience BC, the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Calgary on a research project to install 30 new groundwater monitoring wells in the Peace Region.
Starting this summer, a team led by UBC’s Energy and Environment Research Initiative, with collaboration from the OGC and Geoscience BC, will drill a total of 30 wells as part of the groundwater monitoring network in the Peace Region. The first eight monitoring wells will be drilled this summer, with more wells to be drilled in the spring and fall of 2019 before the project concludes in 2020.
Samples will be taken at regular intervals to see if methane is present in Northeast B.C. groundwater, and if so, how much, what its origins are, and its prevalence in areas near oil and gas development.
“Potential impacts to groundwater from energy resource development are controversial and scientifically-based answers to many questions related to this are needed,” said the project’s principal investigator Dr. Aaron Cahill, who is also co-director of UBC’s Energy and Environment Research Initiative. “In particular, more information is needed on groundwater conditions in areas of resource development in B.C., including levels of methane and other hydrocarbons close to oil and gas wells. This new research project will generate high quality scientific data to address concerns related to resource development in the Peace Region.”
Oil and Gas Commissioner Paul Jeakins added that the data gathered from the project will give the Commission more information, and therefore strengthen its oversight of the oil and gas industry.