Fracking in Manitoba

 

What is hydraulic fracturing?

Hydraulic Fracturing or “Fracking” is the injection of fluids under high pressure to crack or fracture the rock to allow oil and gas to flow into the wellbore. The natural gas or oil can then flow to the surface under controlled conditions through the wellhead and be collected for processing and distribution.

During the hydraulic fracturing process, a mixture of water, sand and other chemical additives designed to protect the integrity of the wellbore and enhance production is pumped under high pressure into the formation to create fractures. The fractures are kept open by sand or “proppant”, which provides pathways to allow the natural gas to flow into the wellbore.

Fracture fluids used by the industry contain many of the same additives found in water treatment facilities or common household products such as toothpaste and detergents, and the industry is moving to greener fracture fluid alternatives.

There has never been a known case of fracking-induced groundwater contamination in Manitoba.

In Manitoba, oil reservoirs are located 400-1,000 metres below groundwater aquifers, and drillers are required to build multiple levels of safeguards to prevent contamination.

At Tundra, we test water in potential drilling areas to establish baseline of quality for fresh water wells.

Fracking operations in Manitoba use significantly less water than shale gas fracking in other jurisdictions.

The industry is constantly evaluating how to reduce and/or reuse the amount of freshwater it uses by reusing and recycling fracture fluid.

Because we are fracturing rock, the process does cause small seismic events. However, Tundra’s microseismic program shows these events are extremely small and difficult to detect.

Manitoba applications to date are 3-15 tonne fractures, compared to 100+ tonne fractures in other jurisdictions.

The Manitoba Petroleum Branch regulations ensure fracking remains safe and public concerns are addressed. Tundra fully supports this regulatory process, and we continue to innovate and improve the process.

To learn more about fracking, visit fracfocus.ca.