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Geoscience B.C. anounces phase II of Horn River Basin study

September 12, 2011  By Administrator

September 12, 2011, Vancouver – Geoscience B.C. and the Horn River Basin Producers Group have launched phase II of a collaborative geoscience project to undertake baseline research on water resources in the Horn River Basin.

Phase II of the Horn River Basic Water Study expands and builds on the deep saline aquifer research completed in phase I, to include surface and ground water hydrological research.

"British Columbia is committed to a safe and responsible oil and gas sector," said B.C. Minister of Energy and Mines, Rich Coleman. "This research will help protect B.C.'s water resources and will ensure our province continues to implement best practices for natural gas production."


Specifically, phase II of the study includes three core components:

  • A three-year surface water study focused on collecting data on the quantity and quality of surface water sources in the Horn River Basin and assessing its availability for shale gas development. Kerr Wood Leidal Associated Ltd (KWL). is carrying out this work with assistance from Peace Country Technical Services and Environmental Dynamics Inc. The program has commenced and KWL is currently working with local First Nations and the Horn River Basic Producers Group to finalize the program components.
  • A previously announced pilot project to examine the applicability of airborne electromagnetic surveys to mapping of near-surface ground water. SkyTEM Canada Inc. completed the data collection in April. Interpretation of the results is underway.
  • A continuation of the phase I data collection and integration on select deep saline aquifers. This research, done by Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd. and Canadian Discovery Ltd., has already produced significant results and has supported shale gas producers reducing their use of surface water for shale gas development in some parts of the basin.

The project work is supported by the province through grants to Geoscience B.C., and by the Horn River Basic Producers Group and individual member companies.

To date, individual companies operating in the Horn River basin are undertaking specific studies to better understand local surface and ground water. In addition, the Ministry of Energy and Mines recently completed an initial evaluation of surface and ground water resources in the Horn River Basin.

"As surface and ground water supply will undoubtedly play a key role in the development of the basic, there is a need to establish hydrological conditions in the key watersheds and sub-watersheds within the basin," Geoscience B.C. said in a press release. "This will provide government, the public, First Nations and industry with a better understanding of the basin-wide water supply sources being used for the development of the shale gas reserves."

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