Rich Coleman: The best fracking place on Earth

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      With recent events bringing attention to hydraulic fracturing, I think it is important for British Columbians to know the facts about natural gas operations in our province.

      B.C. has been producing natural gas for more than 50 years. Hydraulic fracturing, the technology used to extract a large portion of our natural gas, has been occurring for decades.

      Our extensive experience has enabled us to put strict rules in place to govern how the industry conducts its business, ensuring it is rigorously monitored and as safe as possible.

      We were the first province in Canada to make it mandatory for industry to disclose the fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process. The online registryFracFocus.caprovides information about our regulations and an account of each well drilled.

      Our province's geology provides us with natural advantages over other areas in North America with the hydraulic fracturing process occurring in B.C. kilometres away from the surface and below impermeable layers of rock and soil.

      When wells are drilled, they are lined with cement to a depth of 600 metres to protect our soil and water. This provides even more protection for our drinking water.

      As well, water usage is carefully monitored and protected in British Columbia.

      The net result of both our strong regulatory framework and our geology is that B.C.'s water supply is protected and safe. It has never been contaminated as a result of hydraulic fracturing.

      To ensure industry adheres to our rules, we have a dedicated provincial regulator in place. The BC Oil and Gas Commission has expert geologists, hydrologists, and engineers to ensure natural gas work remains safe.

      And while the experts do their job, we continue to do ours.

      The provincial government has made sound policy decisions to support responsible natural gas development. World-leading regulations and best practices continue to guide how we operate.

      Our government supports responsible growth and development because it makes long-term sense.

      We want industry to grow in an environmentally sensible manner so all British Columbians can benefit directly from natural gas production.

      We recognize safe exploration as an opportunity to support and grow our economy. Revenue generated enables us to better protect our environment and pay for important services such as health care, education, infrastructure development and more.

      The reality is we must strike a realistic balance between the needs of our families and strong communities, and the need to be responsible stewards of our environment. We need to accomplish both to be successful in the long term.

      And, we are confident we are doing that on many fronts. For instance, to address growing demands from many industries, we are updating legislation with the proposed Water Sustainability Act. This act will ensure the best standards of environmental protection and appropriate oversight is in place for B.C.'s water resources now and in the future.

      Our approach appears to be working.

      To reiterate, there has never been an incident of contaminated water supply as a result of hydraulic fracturing in our province. The water used by industry is subject to strict rules. Before any approval can be provided, each permit must go through a rigorous review to eliminate harms and maintain existing water levels.

      In addition to a vast supply of natural gas and leading standards for exploration, B.C offers industry with many other advantages necessary for large investment, and that is why we have this amazing opportunity to become a world leader in natural gas exports.

      As the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel, natural gas is in high demand around the globe, particularly where air quality is a major concern.

      We see this as an opportunity to redefine our financial security and set a path forward to future prosperity for all British Columbians.

      We want future generations to benefit financially from the foresight we show today to responsibly grow our natural gas sector. To do that, we have made a commitment to responsibly develop a liquefied natural gas export industry.

      Our government supports natural gas development because it makes sense today and for generations to come. Natural gas is our best competitive advantage moving forward.




      Nov 6, 2013 at 1:16pm

      Ok where to start with these Morons?...

      1. ANY Water used for Fracking is basically taken out of the Hydrological Cycle for pretty much the rest of Human Life on this Planet,

      2. Lining with Cement is just a placebo sooner or later there will be leaks long after the Corporations have left with the profits and the natural resource in this case Gas gone,

      3. The Economics...

      (A) The price of Natural Gas has been at historical lows and requires heavy Government / Tax Payer subsidies to generate this Industry at large scale here for export,

      (B) The Royalty structure leaves BC with pretty much nothing after you factor in the Environmental Costs, the current setup will be used to pay Debt but no set percentage has been determined and any Government in power can use it for anything that is subsidize mostly Foreign Corporations, aka Corporate Welfare,

      (C) There is good reason that large EU States have banned Fracking there is no safe environmental way to do it,

      (D)Consortium's of Buyers (India & Japan) are banding together to further reduce the Buying Price that they pay for Natural Gas making it the Industry here more dependent on Government Subsidies,

      (E) Jobs most of the Jobs are short term construction Jobs with only a few left for permanent operations,

      (F) Sovereign Wealth Funds from foreign Countries are prepared to Operate plants but only if heavy BC Government subsidies are in place great for them bad for us.

      Martlet provides a smart Economic Analysis and why this is not a Net Benefit to British Columbians but only to large Foreign Corporations...

      Splitting hairs

      Nov 6, 2013 at 5:35pm

      "To reiterate, there has never been an incident of contaminated water supply as a result of hydraulic fracturing in our province."

      Sure, just an incident of frac chemicals, NORM, and other nasties contaminating the water supply. Coleman, do you really think people care how the water is contaminated?

      “A Talisman Energy storage pond for water used in the hydraulic fracturing process has been taken out of service after inspectors detected a leak.

      Routine inspections uncovered problems in July with the double liner at the pond – one of five that the company operates in the Farrell Creek area of the Montney gas play in northeastern B.C., Talisman Canada spokeswoman Berta Gomez said on Wednesday.

      ... Preliminary tests have shown leaching of chemicals into nearby soil and groundwater ...

      ... An outside company has been engaged to assess the site and conduct more tests. The pond has been drained and soil is being excavated and removed for disposal.

      ... The pond, known as Pond A, is 80 metres long by 60 metres wide and about 12 metres deep. Energy companies use the containment structures to store 'produced' or flowback water – which contains small amounts of chemicals used in fracking, including benzene and methanol ...

      ... The Oil and Gas Commission is investigating the incident.

      ... It has not yet been determined how much fluid leaked, but about 4,600 cubic metres of soil has been excavated so far with another 300 cubic metres expected to be removed, OGC spokesman Hardy Friedrich said."

      Lee L

      Nov 8, 2013 at 10:33am

      Your comments would be better received without the eyerolling and name calling. The economic case as described in your post should give people pause.
      I too, was wondering about the lifetime of a cement liner. More concerning to me, however, are the cement lined and plugged oil wells under the ocean left for future generations. If I had to choose, and right now we do, I would choose one on land where it could be easily inspected, reopened and resealed as opposed to one on the bottom of the Arctic Ocean.
      Nat Gas is a decent fuel which can displace petroleum in most applications including transportation and is a pretty good bridge fuel to nuclear ( fusion ).

      @Splitting Hairs
      I'm not really panicked by your example where an 80 x 60 x 12 metre deep pond has a little leak. The leakage WAS discovered during normal inspections after all. I mean some people have swimming pools that size.
      Compare it to a normal house in Vancouver that 'leaks' all kinds of fluids from the day it was build. No big deal really.

      vancouver islander

      Jan 14, 2014 at 1:04am

      your talking about expanding fraking in my own backyard... f u c k that, that s h I t is unsafe, B.C is known to be a very pristine place and people try to keep it that way. once it affects people on a personnel level the resistance will increase, and it helps that b.c is a very environmentally conscious place.

      loco chon

      Mar 8, 2014 at 8:08am

      From what i"ve learned of fracking is its just another method of corporit greed. these energy companies don't give a shit about our enviroment. that protective lining of cement is only about an inch thick. how long do you think that will hold up to land tremers and ect. you wanna risk our aquifers and ground water for the sake corporate greed. We'd be better off selling water than oil or gas.crusty clarke and that dictator Harper only care about they"own ideologies ,i wonder if they even bothered to watch the documentries Gasland 1 and especially gasland 2 . Have they even bothered to travel to northern Alberta and veiw the destuction . Hell just watch Yukon Gold , a show about people and total disregard for creeks, rivers,and oceans . Maybe this show is a way of desencetising the public to the atrosities that are occurring .