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There is no doubting Trican’s intent to conduct our operations in a way that safeguards water tables and water supply. Trican, as well as many others in our industry, is working diligently to develop processes and technology to eliminate the need for fresh water, and create chemistry that does not harm the environment.
The best protection for groundwater during fracturing and other oil and gas operations is to isolate any sources of fresh water from other subterranean zones or fluid/products. This is done by a properly-constructed well that includes adequate layers of steel pipe, called casing, each cemented in place. Wells are constructed this way according to standards set by industry, regulators, and our customers.
Fracturing operations occur at depths much greater than potable water tables, where the nature of the rock formations themselves, as well as the general orientation of the fractures, effectively eliminate the possibility of fluids from the stimulation operations or target zone travelling anywhere near the aquifers in question.
In shallow operations, such as production in dry coalbed methane formations, regulations in many jurisdictions require that 100% nitrogen (a safe, inert gas) or non-toxic fluids be used to stimulate wells. In areas where these practices are not regulated in the same way, standard safeguards of proper zonal isolation are used.
For additional safety in product handling and possible spillage situations, Trican has taken a proactive position in routinely testing our fracture fluid additives for potential toxicity issues, allowing us to investigate and develop alternatives to our blends and product lines. As a result, we have replaced many components with non-toxic options, such as our EcoClean® line, and in conventional systems.
Trican’s expanding line of EcoClean® fluid products is non-toxic, bio-degradable, and non-bioaccumulating. Each additive, as well as the fluids in total, passes the recommended Microtox® test for drinking water, and meets safe drinking water standards. Testing is performed by an independent third party laboratory.
Trican lists chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations on the American and Canadian FracFocus websites, with the exception of those considered trade secrets. In most cases, non-disclosed additives are registered with regulatory bodies, and in most cases, they are non-toxic.
Trican is also a founding signatory to the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI) Hydraulic Fracturing Roundtable. The ACS GCI convenes roundtables to provide member companies with a scientific-focused organization better positioned to prioritize research needs, inform the research agenda, and reduce the cost of green chemistry and engineering tools specific to the industry. To learn more, see: http://www.acs.org/gcihydraulicfracturing
For more information on Water Safety, see Talking Oil and Gas.