Fracking long proven to be safe

Contributed to The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
David Pryce
Vice-President, Operations
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
February 09, 2012
Re: "Conerns about hydraulic fracturing intensify"Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, January 31, 2012, by Paul Haney

The following is the opinion of the writer, vice-president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers in Calgary.

In regards to Paul Hanley's column, Concerns about hydraulic fracturing intensify (SP, Jan. 31), readers should know that natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel and will play an important role as Canada moves toward an energy mix with lower carbon emissions. 

Natural gas is also expected to play a larger role globally as world demand for natural gas is projected to increase 55 per cent by 2035, according to the International Energy Agency. Canada is well-positioned to meet some of this demand.Hydraulic fracturing - the process used to free natural gas from deep shale formations - has been used safely in Canada for more than 60 years with almost 175,000 wells fractured in Alberta and British Columbia without a single documented case of harm to groundwater, according to Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board and the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission. 

That strong safety record is the result of effective industry operating practices and robust regulations. We understand that Canadians have questions about how industry develops natural gas resources. However, robust regulations and industry best practices are in place to ensure that the risks associated with resource development are managed. 

Further demonstrating the industry's continued focus on responsible resource development, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers released six operating practices on Jan. 30.These practices are designed to improve water management and use, and to ensure protection of water resources. The operating practices support the public disclosure of fracturing fluid additives, increased use of more environmentally sound fracturing fluids and mitigation of potential risks related to fluid disposal.These operating practices apply across Canada.For more information, visit