PSAC Releases Hydraulic Fracturing Code of Conduct


On October 30, 2013, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) released a Hydraulic Fracturing Code of Conduct for Canada. Eleven PSAC members with hydraulic fracturing operations in Canada helped create the Code and have voluntarily agreed to follow its provisions.

The Code resulted from PSAC’s Working Energy Commitment, an initiative established in February 2013 by a subset of the members of PSAC. The Code’s content was informed by community engagement meetings with more than 100 community members in seven regions of four provinces.  The Code represents a set of commitments with respect to the responsible and sustainable development of Canada’s oil and natural gas resources.  Endorsers of the Code have agreed to focus their efforts in five key areas: water and the environment, fracturing fluid disclosure, technology development, health, safety and training, and community engagement.

Eleven companies that participated in the Working Energy Commitment program have endorsed the Code: Baker Hughes Canada Company; Calfrac Well Services Ltd.; Canyon Technical Services Ltd.; Element Technical Services; GasFrac Energy Services LP; Halliburton Group Canada; Iron Horse Energy Services; Millennium Stimulation Services; Sanjel Corporation; Schlumberger Canada Limited; and Trican Well Service Ltd.

Some of the Code’s provisions link it to other industry initiatives. For example, with regard to water usage, adherents of the Code will support their customers in their commitment to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producer’s (CAPP) Hydraulic Fracturing Guiding Principles and Operating Practices.  Likewise, observing the Code requires participation in the Community Partners program, an initiative promoting “courteous behavior in areas of oil and gas activity” that is sponsored by all seven major upstream oil and gas trade associations in Canada.

With regard to fracturing fluid disclosure, the companies that endorsed the Code will provide their customers with a list of additives used in fracturing fluids that meets industry requirements. Beyond that, the Code commits its proponents to encourage the use of public disclosure platforms like FracFocus, a website created by the BC Oil and Gas Commission and which currently reports on fracturing fluid composition for wells in BC and Alberta.

The full Code is brief and may be read here.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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