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Regulating Shale Gas Development in North America – An Overview CAPL 33 rd Annual Conference Allan Ingelson, University of Calgary September 25 – 28, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Regulating Shale Gas Development in North America – An Overview CAPL 33 rd Annual Conference Allan Ingelson, University of Calgary September 25 – 28, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regulating Shale Gas Development in North America – An Overview CAPL 33 rd Annual Conference Allan Ingelson, University of Calgary September 25 – 28, 2011

2 Presentation Outline What can we learn from the U.S. shale gas experience? Overview Unresolved contentious issues- horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and trespass

3 Presentation Outline State and federal regulator responses Summary – implications for shale developers and regulators in Canada

4 North American Shale Gas

5 U.S. Technology Driven Shale Gas Plays Barnett Shale Fayetteville Shale – 2004 Haynesville/Bossier – 2007 Marcellus Shale Antrim, New Albany, Utica

6 Regulating Shale Plays in Different Basins Shales - different geographic settings, different physical and chemical characteristics Challenge - No one size fits all regulatory scheme

7 Projected U.S. Shale Gas Supply

8 Canadian Shale Gas National Energy Board (2009) It appears that there is potential for 1000 Tcf of shale gas in place within Canada if not more…High uncertainty, because gas shales are still in the initial stages of evaluation across Canada…

9 Canadian Shale Gas From NEB – Energy Reports (2009) - A Primer for Understanding Canadian Shale Gas,

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11 Horizontal Drilling & Trespass Horizontal drilling has prompted subsurface trespass concerns Texas -Browning Oil Co. Inc.

12 Horizontal Drilling & Pooling Browning Oil Co., Inc. and Marathon Oil Company v. Jimmie M. Luecke and Leona M. Luecke, 38 S.W.3d 625 (2000) Tex. App. LEXIS 7572; 149 Oil & Gas Rep. 127 Court of Appeals of Texas, 3 rd District Austin

13 Browning Oil - Trespass Horizontal wells drilled under several tracts of land Action by lessors against lessees for breach of the pooling provisions in the lease regarding royalties payable The lessors won!

14 Court Comment This dispute requires us to consider the applicability of traditional oil and gas concepts to horizontal wells… …several legal articles and treatises have advised lessees to seek amendments to existing leases prior to drilling horizontal wells.

15 Court Comment The parties executed the leases and amendments prior to the surge in horizontal drilling and likely did not contemplate the possibility of horizontal wells…

16 Browning Oil Three oil and gas leases executed in 1979 covering 3 tracts of land Leases executed before upsurge in horizontal drilling

17 Browning Oil Lessors entitled to 1/8 royalty on production from mineral they owned in each of the tracts 1984 amendment to lease regarding pooling

18 Browning Oil State oil and gas conservation scheme If a land tract is too small to satisfy state spacing units, lessees will pool acreage from several land tracts to satisfy the Texas conservation regulatory system

19 Browning Oil 1994 – operating agreement executed between Browning Oil and Marathon Oil that includes acreage covered by the 3 leases

20 Browning Oil November 1994 – Marathon attempted to negotiate an amendment to the leases with the lessors to clarify the pooling authority for horizontal wells. The lessors refused to execute the proposed amendment

21 Browning Oil 1995 – Nevertheless the lessees completed the first of 2 horizontal wells crossing several tracts of land (one well crossed 7 tracts) Lessees debated with the lessors the appropriate method for determining royalties for the lessors

22 Browning Oil Lessees proposed allocating royalties to lessors based on the share of production that could be attributed to the lessors tracts

23 Pooling and Royalties Lessees and lessors could not agree on the method of calculating the royalties payable to the lessors

24 Pooling & Horizontal Wells Issue - Whether the pooled units for the producing horizontal wells violated the pooling provisions in two leases regarding dilution of the lessors interests

25 Pooling & Lease Provisions What did the appeal court say? The Court commented that for pooling to be valid, it must be done in accordance with the method and purposes specified in the lease

26 Pooling & Lease Provisions The Court commented that parties to an oil and gas lease must strictly comply with its terms – this includes the pooling provisions

27 Pooling & Lease Provisions Lessors argued that the purported pooled units for 2 horizontal wells violated the lease provisions Both the trial court and appellate court agreed with the lessors

28 Court Comment Even though traditional legal principles of oil and gas law would afford the lessors royalties on all production if a vertical well were drilled on their land…

29 Court Comment …these principles have no application in the case of horizontal wells that contain multiple drill sites on tracts owned by multiple landowners.

30 Question As freehold leases have been drafted with vertical wells in mind, could the trespass issue arise in Canada as more horizontal wells are drilled?

31 Subsurface Trespass ? When a horizontal well is fraced and natural gas is produced from an adjacent land parcel to which another company holds the mineral rights, is there a subsurface trespass?

32 Subsurface Trespass ? Will the lessee of the adjacent property be able to prove damages? U.S. case law based on the rule of capture – Canada not a rule of capture jurisdiction

33 Horizontal Drilling & Water Contamination 2011 Texas Tribune Headlines - Does Gas Drilling Put Radiation in Texas Water? March 11, 2011 Even in Texas, Concerns Grow About Gas Drilling April 25, 2011

34 Hydraulic Fracing & Shale Gas Fracing process dates back to the 1860s 1930s - injection of non explosive fluids used hydrofrac patent issued to Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company

35 Fracing Fluids Fracturing fluids - typical components 90% water 9.5% sand 0.5% other chemicals

36 Fracing – Why All the Fuss? BP Deep Horizon Well Blowout - era of increased public environmental and health concerns Increased public scrutiny

37 Fracing & Alleged Water Contamination Water contamination from fracing chemicals Disclosure of frac fluid contents Proprietary concerns

38 Fracing and Alleged Water Contamination Statement of Scott Kell, on behalf of the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC) Testimony to the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral resources, Washington D.C. June 4, 2009

39 Fracing and Alleged Water Contamination Hydraulic Fracturing – 15 Statements for Regulatory Officials June 2009 Lack of documented cases of groundwater contamination

40 Fracing Fluid Disclosure Wyoming - regulatory response As of September 2010 the Wyoming Oil and Gas Commission requires full disclosure of fracing fluid contents

41 Fracing Disclosure Texas - Bill SB 1049 proposed to increase disclosure regarding fracing activities

42 Fracing Disclosure Trend toward increased disclosure - Montana, Arkansas, Michigan, New York

43 U.S. Federal Response February 8, EPA Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Study Plan Examine potential for fracing impacts on drinking water resources and human exposure to fracing chemicals

44 U.S. Federal Response 2011 study to be completed in 2012 Follow-up in 2014

45 Water Contamination April 16, 2011 – Waxman, Markey and DeGette Congressional Report 29 chemicals allegedly in fracing fluids including lead and benzene - possible carcinogens

46 Water Contamination Drilling and fracing - Duke University Study, May 17, 2011 Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing by Stephen G. Osborn et al vol. 108 no. (20) PNAS, May 17, 2011

47 2011 Duke University Study We found no evidence for contamination of drinking- water samples with deep saline brines or fracturing fluids Osborn et al, p. 8172

48 2011 Duke University Study …In aquifers overlying the Marcellus and Utica shale formations of northeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York, we document systematic evidence for methane contamination of drinking water associated with shale gas extraction. Osborn et al, p. 8172

49 U.S. Federal Water Regulation Clean Water Act Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)

50 Alleged Water Contamination in Texas Alleged water contamination from methane – EPA issued an emergency environmental protection order to Range Resources Dec. 7, 2010 Company subsequently cleared

51 Other Water Issues Fracing fluid partial flowback Proper fracing fluid storage & disposal Volume of water used in fracing

52 Federal Regulation 2004 – U.S. EPA study on hydraulic fracturing for CBM concluded fracturing poses little or no threat to drinking water hydraulic fracturing exempted from the SDWA

53 Bill Introduced in 2009 Fracking Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act Designed to specifically regulate hydraulic fracturing

54 Federal Response 2011 On August 11, 2011 a high level advisory panel to US Secretary of Energy released preliminary DOE recommendations on issues surrounding shale gas production

55 Federal Recommendations 2011 U.S. DOE Recommendation - need immediate and longer- term actions to reduce environmental and safety risks of shale gas operations with a particular focus on protecting air and water quality

56 Federal Recommendations 2011 U.S. DOE - increase industry transparency surrounding shale gas production processes and promoting industry best practices

57 Federal Recommendations 2011 U.S. DOE Recommendation - Make information about shale gas production operations more accessible to the public

58 Federal Recommendations 2011 U.S. DOE Recommendation - create a Shale Gas Industry Operation organization committed to continuous improvement of best operating practices

59 Federal Recommendations 2011 U.S. DOE Recommendation – research and development to improve safety and environmental performance

60 Alberta Energy Minister Implications for Canadian Regulators Fri, Oct 15, 2010 Calgary Herald

61 Alberta Shale Gas Research & Development 2010 Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund – High Priority Public Policy Research Issue – Assessment of Risks of Hydraulic Fracturing

62 Other Shale Gas Development Issues Noise Cumulative effects

63 Alberta Fracing Regulated under ERCA & OGCA ERCB Directive 059: Drilling and completion data filing requirements -

64 Fracing Regulation in Alberta Must submit – type, quantity, and size of propping agents, type and volume of carrier (fluids), additives, type and quantity of plugging agents, feed rates and pressures

65 B.C. Fracing B.C. Oil and Gas Commission Oil and Gas Activities Act (OGAA): 2008 to 2010 – water withdrawals Maintain a record of fracturing fluid and produce records upon request

66 B.C. Fracing Best Noise Control Guideline (2009)

67 Quebec Much more limited oil and gas development experience than in Alberta or B.C.

68 Quebec - Utica Shale Lease Map

69 Economic Benefits Shale Gas Development in Quebec From SECOR Advisory firm report for the Quebec Oil and Gas Association: Based on gas price of $6/Mcf and 10% royalty rate

70 Economic Benefits Shale Gas in Quebec Utica shale play could generate between 5000 and 19,000 direct/indirect job opportunities Between $278 million and $1 billion in annual royalties for the province

71 Economic Benefits Shale Gas in Quebec $1.85 million in value added to Quebec and 33 jobs per well during drilling 28 jobs per 100 wells during production which could last for more than 50 years

72 Environmental Concerns Water impacts Air quality impacts

73 Summary As with CBM development the U.S. shale gas experience can assist in identifying some potential issues that Canadian regulators and operators may encounter

74 Summary As with CBM, shale types in different basins exhibit different characteristics (ex. the volume of water in different shales)

75 Summary There is no effective one size fits all regulatory approach

76 Summary As with CBM development, different chemical and physical properties of shales within different basins may prompt differences in state and provincial regulatory requirements

77 Summary Notwithstanding shale gas development in Texas since 1991, water contamination from fracing fluids and methane migration continue to be contentious issues

78 Summary In light of the August 2011 U.S. DOE recommendations, potential shale gas fracing impacts on water are under investigation

79 Summary Texas, Wyoming, and several other states and the U.S. Federal Government are moving toward increased disclosure of fracing fluid contents

80 Summary Development of shale gas best management practices has been recommended by the U.S. DOE

81 Summary – Shale Gas Issues That Can Arise in Canada Alleged water contamination from fracing Drilling and methane migration

82 Summary – Shale Gas Issues That Can Arise in Canada Methane emissions Trespass Noise Cumulative effects

83 Summary – Issues That Can Arise in Canada Trespass - adequacy of Canadian freehold leases to address issues raised by horizontal drilling for shale gas

84 Summary – Issues That Can Arise in Canada Trespass - Does the freehold lease you are going to rely on that was drafted with vertical wells in mind, need to be amended before horizontal wells are drilled?

85 Acknowledgments Richard Steed, MSc. (SEDV) student

86 Thank you Questions


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