Responsible Oil & Gas Development

Scientific Review of Hydraulic Fracturing

In March 2018, government followed through on its commitment and appointed a three-member scientific panel to conduct a science-based review of the hydraulic fracturing process. The scope of the review included a scientific assessment of potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water quantity and quality; and the role of hydraulic fracturing on induced seismicity and fugitive emissions.

In conducting its review, the Panel invited topic experts including: BC Oil and Gas Commission staff, industry representatives, academics, environmental consultants, representatives of Treaty 8 First Nations, government (federal, provincial, municipal) staff, representatives of environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs), representatives of industry organizations, and experts from Geoscience BC, Natural Resources Canada, and the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium. To aid in the review, the Panel also visited several sites in the Fort St. John area, including operating facilities identified as following best practices, sites with known problems, and a research project field site.

Read the Scientific Review of Hydraulic Fracturing in British Columbia Report (PDF, 8 MB)

As the report is highly-technical, the ministry has developed a phased approach to implementing the scientific panel’s ninety-seven recommendations. In May, the government will release its short-term action plan followed by its long-term action plan in December 2019.

Industry Best Practices

In this ever-changing energy sector, experts are constantly seeking new, more sustainable ways of doing things. Currently, the oil and gas industry works within a framework of principles and regulations that govern and guide operations – especially as they relate to safety, land and water use, surface and mineral rights and environmental impacts.