Lochend Industry Producer’s Group (LIPG) hopes frack fluid disclosure eases concerns over contamination

LIPG hopes frack fluid disclosure eases concerns over contamination by Derek Clouthier, January 16, 2013, Cochrane Eagle
The secrecy surrounding what chemicals are being used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) fluid has ended, with the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and the Lochend Industry Producer’s Group (LIPG) disclosing the ingredients to the public. Despite what has been an ongoing debate over the naming of these chemicals and the ability to test for any type of possible contamination to ground or well water, the LIPG maintains that its focus is on safe and responsible drilling practices, equipping its wells with both surface casing, which is cemented in place to a depth of approximately 600 metres, and production casing, also cemented in place. “This prevents any completion or production fluids from coming to the surface on the outside of the casing,” said LIPG chairman Larry Stewart, adding that the four member companies of his group go above and beyond what is required of them by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. “LIPG companies have, and continue to test site-specific potable water well testing at a minimum of 400 metres from a proposed well,” he explained, saying other water well testing requests are conducted on a case-by-case basis. “This ensures the baseline quality and quantity of the resident’s water well.”

Local resident, and member of the anti-fracking coalition Cochrane Area Under Siege (CAUS), Dan Thomas believes there is much more to the chemical disclosure of frack fluid. “The other potential problem is contamination of the fresh water aquifer by non-potable (most commonly saline water), lower zone fluid movements and natural gas,” said Thomas, adding that this may be a more obvious problem going into the future.

Stewart also said that with over 175,000 wells having been fracked in Alberta, information gathered by the ERCB indicate there have been no confirmed cases of hydraulic fracturing causing fresh water contamination.

“The transparency afforded by frack fluid disclosure will finally dispel misinformation being circulated…”

Stewart confirmed that if there was a case where water contamination was suspected, the LIPG, along with an ‘independent third party water well testing company’ would complete a sampling and analysis of the water in question, all of which would be paid for by the LIPG. “Industry welcomes additional scrutiny surrounding frack fluid disclosure as it allows the debate around additives to be focused on facts relevant to the Lochend area development,” said Stewart, “and not conjecture or information taken from unrelated oil and gas developments.” The four companies that make up the LIPG are Pengrowth Energy, PetroBakken Energy, Tamarack Valley Energy and TriOil Resources. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to: Hydraulic fracturing with gelled propane by Gasfrac/Crew Energy Inc./Caltex Energy Inc. contaminated groundwater near Grande Prairie: ERCB Investigative Report and groundwater monitoring by Alberta Environment 

How Alberta Will Fight Fracking Folk Hero Jessica Ernst, In famous flaming water case, regulator to argue ‘no duty of care’ to landowners or groundwater

The Lawsuit ]

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