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TitleA review of the November 24-25, 2011 shale gas workshop, Calgary, Alberta - 2. Groundwater resources
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorRivard, CORCID logo; Molson, J W; Soeder, D J; Johnson, E G; Grasby, S EORCID logo; Wang, B; Rivera, AORCID logo
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 7096, 2012, 205 pages, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
MeetingShale Gas Workshop; Calgary; CA; November 24-25, 2011
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication contains the following publications
RelatedThis publication is related to A review of November 24-25, 2011 shale gas workshop, Calgary, Alberta - 1. Resource evaluation methodology
File formatpdf
ProvinceOntario; Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; British Columbia; Quebec
NTS40I; 40P; 40J/01; 40J/02; 40J/03; 40J/07; 40J/08; 40J/09; 40J/16; 40O/01; 30L/13; 30L/14; 30M; 41A; 41H/03; 11E; 11F/12; 11F/13; 11F/14; 11K/03; 21H/09; 21H/10; 21H/15; 21H/16; 11L/04; 21G/01; 21G/02; 21G/03; 21G/06; 21G/07; 21G/08; 21G/09; 21G/10; 21G/11; 21G/12; 21G/13; 21G/14; 21G/15; 21G/16; 21H/05; 21H/06; 21H/11; 21H/12; 21H/13; 21H/14; 21I/01; 21I/02; 21I/03; 21I/04; 21I/05; 21I/06; 21I/07; 21I/10; 21I/11; 21I/12; 21I/13; 21I/14; 21I/15; 21J; 21N/02; 21N/07; 21N/08; 21N/09; 21N/16; 21O; 21P/02; 21P/03; 21P/04; 21P/05; 21P/06; 21P/07; 21P/10; 21P/11; 21P/12; 21P/13; 21P/14; 21P/15; 93I/09; 93I/10; 93I/11; 93I/12; 93I/13; 93I/14; 93I/15; 93I/16; 93J/09; 93J/10; 93J/15; 93J/16; 93O; 93P; 94A; 94B/01; 94B/02; 94B/07; 94B/08; 94B/09; 94B/10; 94B/15; 94B/16; 94G/01; 94G/02; 94I/09; 94I/10; 94I/11; 94I/12; 94I/13; 94I/14; 94I/15; 94I/16; 94J/09; 94J/10; 94J/11; 94J/12; 94J/13; 94J/14; 94J/15; 94J/16; 94O; 94P
AreaMichigan Basin; Appalachian Basin; Texas; Arkansas; Ohio; Pennsylvania; West Virginia; Windsor; London; Waterloo; Kitchener; Fort St John; Montney; Fort Nelson; Canada; United States of America
Lat/Long WENS -86.0000 -76.0000 42.0000 37.0000
Lat/Long WENS -83.5000 -79.0000 45.5000 42.0000
Lat/Long WENS -65.0000 -61.0000 46.2500 45.0000
Lat/Long WENS -69.0000 -63.5000 48.2500 45.0000
Lat/Long WENS-123.0000 -120.0000 57.2500 54.5000
Lat/Long WENS-124.0000 -120.0000 60.0000 58.5000
Subjectsfossil fuels; hydrogeology; geochemistry; gas; hydrocarbon gases; shales; hydrocarbons; hydrocarbon potential; aquifers; groundwater; groundwater pollution; groundwater resources; groundwater geochemistry; water quality; waste management; environmental analysis; environmental studies; environmental impacts; fluid migration; hydraulic fracturing; Atrim Shale; Barnett Shale; Fayetteville Shale; Haynesville Shale; Marcellus Shale; Cumberland Group; Windsor Group; Horton Group; Horn River Basin; Deep Basin; Paleozoic; Devonian
Illustrationstables; location maps; photographs; schematic representations; graphs; models; profiles
ProgramEnvironmental Geoscience Shale Gas - groundwater
Released2012 04 20
The combination of new technologies, such as advances in horizontal drilling and the development of efficient hydraulic fracturing techniques along the horizontal laterals, as well as the relatively rapid increase in the price of natural gas and associated liquid hydrocarbons (from shale oil), have made shale gas exploration and production increasingly appealing over the last
Recognizing the importance of this major resource for the Canadian economy, the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) organized a workshop in November 2012, in Calgary. Two major geoscientific issues, identified at a previous meeting in May 2012, were addressed: 1) the need for a scientifically sound methodology to evaluate the "in-place" and "producible" gas resource in the shales and 2) the need for improving geoscientific knowledge about groundwater management and protection given the injection of large quantities of water and chemicals required for hydraulic fracturing operations. Fifty-six participants from various provincial/territorial and federal governments, as well as universities attended this 2-day workshop. Twenty-six of them participated in the groundwater resources theme.
Two keynote speakers, one for the shale gas resources theme (Mr. Mike Johnson, from the National Energy Board), and one for the groundwater resources theme (Mr. Daniel J. Soeder, from the U.S. Department of Energy), gave enlightening presentations at the beginning of each day. On the groundwater side, informative presentations were given by five provincial representatives on the first day, followed by round-table discussions held over the 2-day period in order to efficiently tackle several key topics. Participants were invited to alternately take part in five different discussion groups that had for sub-themes: water quantity, wastewater management, migration mechanisms, data gaps and monitoring methodology.
This Open File presents a review of the presentations and discussions that took place on the groundwater resources side. Its counterpart for the shale gas resources theme is Open File 7088. The main conclusions of the groundwater resources theme group can be summarized as follows:
- Ways must be found to reduce water consumption for slickwater hydraulic fracking.
- The use of saline water, which is not in conflict with other water demands, should be fostered and be proposed in upcoming regulations.
- Baseline studies should be carried out to ensure that groundwater is characterized prior to exploration.
- Monitoring plans must be developed based on the site characteristics for water, gas and well casings before, during and after fracking and production.
- Research studies must be carried out since little is known on potential migration pathways of fluids and gas from the casing or shale formation towards surficial aquifers.
- Findings from this research should support the development of regulations and policies that must be well adapted to activities related to this new unconventional energy resource.
- Data from all sources need to be made available and integrated into a common database.
- The public, who is concerned by hydraulic fracturing and aquifer contamination, needs to be better informed with scientific facts. Research will help fill many of the existing data gaps.
- Water pricing and environmental liability could be used as incentives to reduce water consumption and favour recycling (reuse). Incentives should also be found or legislation should be enacted for banning the use of toxic additives for hydraulic fracturing.
- Collaboration is essential (between federal and provincial/territorial departments, among federal departments and agencies, among provinces and territories, as well as with other countries such as the U.S.) for the protection of groundwater resources.
- The industry should also be part of research studies, to share their data and contribute financially.

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