Protecting the quality of our water sources is part of our commitment to managing water use in an efficient way to limit environmental impacts. Industry is committed to working with government, regulators and the communities to continue to improve operating practices.
Hydraulic fracturing is a proven technology that has been used safely in Western Canada under strong regulations and industry operating practices. Canadian Natural has adopted the Hydraulic Fracturing Guiding Principles and Operating Practises developed with industry and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), which apply nationally. These best practices include the public disclosure of water use and additives in shale gas hydraulic fracturing fluids, and are designed to improve water management, as well as water and fluids reporting for shale and tight gas development across Canada. The practices complement regulations and identify sound wellbore construction as fundamental to protecting groundwater resources and responsible oil and natural gas development. To learn more about hydraulic fracturing watch this video.
All our UK installations operate within our internal stretch targets of 20 mg/l for oil discharge to the sea, and produced water quality remains well within the regulatory compliance limit of 30 mg/l. In Africa, each installation operates below its ambitious produced water limit as defined in the Environmental Impact Assessments for each field. For our performance numbers check our 2015 Stewardship Report to Stakeholders.
Stakeholder engagement and industry collaboration
Canadian Natural continues to work with regulators, government and in multi-stakeholder initiatives to ensure that we have the right programs in place to optimize water use and ensure there are no significant effects from our operations on water sources. Through our industry association (CAPP) we participate in a number of committees pertaining to water including: the Beaver River Watershed Alliance, the Milk River Watershed Committee, the Lower Souris River Watershed Committee, the North Athabasca Oil Sands Groundwater Management Framework, and the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Water Component Advisory Committee. We communicate to the public the measures we take to conserve and protect fresh water resources through presentations, open houses, our annual Stewardship Report to Stakeholders and CAPP reports.
We invest in a variety of research projects and continually evaluate new technologies to improve environmental performance, including those with a focus on water-related issues. As a member of COSIA, we participate in a “Best Practices Project” where learnings are shared among fellow members that can improve water management performance. Read more about our involvement with COSIA. As part of our commitment to advancing innovation and research, we are also a joint industry partner in a project to build a Water Technology Development Centre (WTDC) that will test different pilot plants concurrently with access to live water streams. For more information about the WTDC project click here.