Corridor follows rigorous government regulations plus the highest of petroleum industry best practices to protect water and the environment during its operations. This is fundamental to our core corporate values.
Water is indeed a precious resource and all users, including the oil and gas industry, should continue to look for ways to reduce their consumption.
But it’s important to note that water demands related to the oil and gas industry only accounts for a small fraction of Canada’s overall water use. For example, the pulp and paper industry in New Brunswick utilizes an average of 66.5 million cubic metres of water annually*. If the petroleum industry drilled 150 wells per year in New Brunswick, it would only use 3-5% of those volumes. Fortunately, New Brunswick is blessed with an abundance of water as an average of 80 trillion cubic metres of rain falls on New Brunswick each year.**
For more information on water usage and hydraulic fracturing, please visit the New Brunswick Responsible Energy Development website.
*JD Irving., Limited, Sustainability Report 2013
** Province of New Brunswick, Exploring Natural Gas in New Brunswick, July 2014
The most important step for ensuring groundwater protection is properly cementing the wellbore.
Groundwater is protected by multiple layers of steel and cement. This diagram shows a typical wellbore design.
Drinking water aquifers are typically located at depths less than 300 metres below the surface, whereas Corridor’s fracture stimulations in New Brunswick occur at depths between 1500 and 4000 metres subsurface. There is a barrier of rock more than 1 kilometre and sometimes up to 4 kilometres thick separating oil and gas producing zones from even the deepest water well.
Basic laws of physics tells us that with such a great thickness of rock between the aquifer and the formation that is fracture stimulated, it is virtually impossible for hydraulic fracturing fluids to migrate upwards from the fractured formation to the aquifer. This diagram shows the approximate scale of a typical well in New Brunswick.
For more information on water protection, please visit the New Brunswick Responsible Energy Development website.
Hydraulic fracturing employs a fluid that typically consists of 99.5% of water and sand. The remaining 0.5 per cent of the fluid is composed of less than six additives, which are similar to items found in your household. The following table lists the typical chemicals that would be used to fracture stimulate wells in New Brunswick.
Corridor is supportive of full disclosure of all chemicals used in the fracture stimulation process and the future development of fracturing fluid additives with the least environmental risk.
For more information on water additives for hydraulic fracturing, please visit the New Brunswick Responsible Energy Development website.
Like all industry activity that use water as part of its process, oil and natural gas activity will produce wastewater that needs to be treated and properly disposed of. Treating the waste water is a relatively simple process. There are proven technologies to remove any chemicals and solids such that the water can meet provincial and national standards and can be released back into the environment.
For more information on wastewater, please visit the New Brunswick Responsible Energy Development website.