Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing is the process used to extract natural gas from the Montney formation in northeast B.C. Hydraulic fracturing is a controlled and regulated operation that has employed proven technology for more than 60 years to safely produce Canadian natural gas from more than 175,000 wells in B.C. and Alberta.

The Montney formation is an unconventional rock, which has pathways that are much narrower than pathways in conventional rock containing natural gas. Natural gas will not flow from unconventional rock unless more pathways are created. To create these pathways, fracturing fluid is pumped into the small existing spaces in the rock, creating fractures that allow the gas to flow. Most of the fracturing fluid naturally flows back to the surface of the well for recycling and re-use in other wells.

Micro-seismic activity that may occur happens deep underground and is rarely felt on the surface. This activity does not pose a risk to public safety or the environment. Progress Energy reviews seismicity data from Natural Resources Canada and previous Progress Energy hydraulic fracturing treatments in the areas where we operate.

Progress Energy was a leader and an active participant in the development of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Hydraulic Fracturing Principles in 2011. These principles resulted in the development of seven hydraulic fracturing practices, which Progress Energy follows.