martes, 27 de junio de 2017

Canada fracking: Alberta a black hole for up-to-date fracking information

More than 1,000 fracking operations have been conducted in Alberta in 2017. (CBC)

CBC news
By Kim Trynacity
Jun 26, 2017

'I would say it's being done elsewhere, so why isn't it being done in Alberta?' says anti-fracking activist

There have been more than 1,000 hydraulic fracturing operations in Alberta since January. But finding out what's happening in any region of the province right now is next to impossible.

Numbers provided to the CBC by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) show between January 2017 and June 30, 2017, there have been 1,127 fracking operations conducted.

The AER says the holder of a drilling licence must inform the AER about its intentions to frack an oil or gas well five days before starting the work.

But the industry-funded regulator doesn't disclose where current fracking operations are occurring on its website.

Some of that information is available on the website, but only 30 days after the operation has wrapped up.

The site is a project of the BC Oil and Gas Commission, and according to information on the site, it is "intended to provide objective information on hydraulic fracturing, fracturing fluids, groundwater and surface water protection and related oil and gas activities in Canada."

A challenge

AER spokesperson Ryan Bartlett said it would be difficult to maintain an up-to-date list of Alberta fracking activity on the AER website because the length of time needed to frack a well varies from as little as "a couple of hours or multiple days" at a stretch.

"The exact start and finish dates tend to be dependent on a number of factors," said Bartlett.

"It could be the weather, it could be availability of equipment."

Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting a mix of water, sand and other additives into the ground at high pressure. It causes cracks in the underground rock formation, allowing oil and natural gas to flow, increasing resource production.

The controversial extraction process has incited protests around the world, and resulted in several provinces, states and countries to declare a moratorium or outright ban on fracking.

A University of Calgary study published in the journal Science in November 2016 determined earthquakes west of Fox Creek, Alta., in the winter of 2015 were triggered by fracking near a fault system that industry and researchers didn't know existed at the time.

Potential earthquakes and effects on water have worried some residents who live near fracking sites.

Seventy members of the Trickle Creek farmstead in northwest Alberta are concerned about the increased fracking they suspect has been going on in their region.

"It's kind of like an invasion," said Josh Ludwig, son of the well-known eco-activist Wiebo Ludwig.

"It seems like every time we take another look, there's more going on," added Ludwig.

The Ludwigs are especially worried about the impact fracking could be having on their water aquifer.

"I know everybody's beginning to realize water is a precious resource. Even though we have a lot of it in Canada doesn't mean we should treat it so recklessly," he said….

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