Performance analysis of engineered liner systems used to store saline fluids in the Canadian oil and gas industry: physical and environmental influences

Richard MacDonald, Higher Ground Consulting
GL 15-WIPC-09

In the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), among the jurisdictions which allow them, lined produced water pit structures (PWPS) are constructed to assist in managing produced water and fracturing flowback fluid returns (i.e. saline fluid).  PWPS infrastructure plays a critical role in supporting the hydraulic fracturing process when used for multiple locations throughout a resource play.  They allow for a high-volume freshwater sourcing alternative, act as storage and delivery (logistical) hubs, facilitate the re-use / recycling of saline fluid for future operations and provide a mechanism that increases the potential of inter-operator saline fluid sharing.

Policy Issue
Avoidance of groundwater and surface water contamination during development of unconventional oil and gas resources in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

Knowledge Gap
Develop a risk-based groundwater monitoring program strategy to assess potential physical and chemical changes to shallow potable groundwater near shale gas/tight oil developments.

2015 Final Report