Skip to content

OGC orders new seismic monitoring plans for drillers operating near Fort St. John and Dawson Creek

Hydraulic fracturing operators near Fort St. John and Dawson Creek are under a new order from the BC Oil and Gas Commission to monitor and report seismic activity from their operations.

Hydraulic fracturing operators near Fort St. John and Dawson Creek are under a new order from the BC Oil and Gas Commission to monitor and report seismic activity from their operations. 

The special project order requires permit holders of wells in the Kiskatinaw Seismic Monitoring and Mitigation Area to undertake a number of measures before, during, and after drilling.

"Considering the level of industry activity in the area, the Commission has issued a Special Project Order requiring permit holders to comply with these actions as of May 28, 2018," the commission noted in an industry bulletin May 14.

The Kiskatinaw Seismic Monitoring and Mitigation Area includes the areas in and around both Fort St. John and Dawson Creek. 

KSMMA
Kiskatinaw Seismic Monitoring and Mitigation Area (KSMMA). - BC Oil and Gas Commission

Measures include:

Pre-Operation Requirements:

1. Submit a seismic monitoring and mitigation plan with any notice of operation that includes hydraulic fracturing. The seismic monitoring and mitigation plan must include a pre-assessment of seismic hazard, and a seismic monitoring and mitigation outline.

2. Notify persons and other entities of fracturing operations at a well.

3. Notify the Commission not less than 24 hours and not more than 72 hours before fracturing operations begin on a common drilling pad.

Active Operation Requirements:

During hydraulic fracturing operations, the permit holder must:

1. Deploy an accelerometer within three km of the common drilling pad.

2. Have access to a seismic array providing real-time seismicity readings.

3. On request, submit a summary of monitoring reports to the Commission.

Seismic Thresholds During Operations:

1. If a well is identified by the well permit holder or the Commission as being responsible for a seismic event with a magnitude of 3.0 or greater, the well permit holder must suspend fracturing operations on the common drilling pad immediately. Fracturing operations may not continue without the written consent of the Commission.

2. The minimum level at which the well permit holder must take action and initiate their mitigation plan is magnitude 2.0.

3. The well permit holder must communicate all magnitude 1.5 and greater events to the Commission immediately.

4. If a common drilling pad is identified as being responsible for a cluster of seismic events, the Commission may require the suspension of fracturing activities.

Post-Operation Requirements:

1. Submit to the Commission a report respecting monitoring of hydraulic fracturing in a format acceptable to the Commission within 30 days of concluding hydraulic fracturing operations.

Considering the level of industry activity in the area, the Commission has issued a Special Project Order requiring permit holders to comply with these actions as of May 28, 2018. More details regarding these requirements can be found in the attachments.