In November 2012 the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) released it’s seventh Hydraulic Fracturing Operating Practice, entitled Anomalous Induced Seismicity: Assessment, Monitoring, Mitigation and Response.

The Operating Practice outlines the requirements for CAPP member companies to assess the potential for anomalous induced seismicity—also known as earthquakes—and where necessary, establish appropriate monitoring procedures and procedures to mitigate and respond to anomalous induced seismicity in shale gas and tight gas development areas.

CAPP is the industry association representing members which account for about ninety percent of Canada’s natural gas and crude oil production.

Under the Operating Practice, companies are required to assess the potential for anomalous induced seismicity for each hydraulic fracturing program. Given the unique geologies where hydraulic fracturing takes place, each hydraulic fracturing program or location requires a tailored approached that draws from the Operating Practice.

The Operating Practice includes:

  • Assessing the potential for anomalous induced seismicity using available engineering, geologic and geophysical data.
  • Complying with applicable regulatory requirements and employing sound wellbore construction practices.

Where assessment indicates the potential for anomalous induced seismicity exists companies are to:

  • evaluate wellbore placement and drilling design to account for geologic conditions;
  • communicate with onsite personnel and establish procedures and preparedness for the possibility of anomalous induced seismicity;
  • establish procedures to monitor for induced seismicity during hydraulic fracturing operations; and
  • establish procedures to mitigate and respond to anomalous induced seismicity

The Operating Practice follows previous Operating Practices dealing with fracturing fluid additive disclosure, fracturing fluid additive risk assessment and management, baseline groundwater testing, wellbore construction and quality assurance, water sourcing, measurement and reuse, and fluid transport, handling, storage and disposal. The Operating Practices are built upon CAPP’s Hydraulic Fracturing Guiding Principles and Operating Practices published in January 2012.

Read: CAPP Hydraulic Fracturing Operating Practice: Anomalous Induced Seismicity: Assessment, Monitoring, Mitigation and Response.


This article was prepared by Alan Harvie (alan.harvie@nortonrose.com or +1 403.267.9411) from Norton Rose – Canada’s Energy Practice.