We manage water efficiently, taking responsibility for the use of this valuable resource.
Although access to water and water scarcity are global issues, we tailor our water management approach to address local and regional concerns.
Ovintiv’s water management program considers location, resources, regulations, water stress, cost and operational need when planning water solutions by site and operating area. We recognize that water sources vary by region and no single water management approach works for all areas.
Using the World Resources Institute (WRI) Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, we determined that ~75% of the counties where we operate have medium to low water stress levels.
We are committed to finding and using alternative (non-fresh) water sources when feasible for our completions activities. In our Permian and Montney operations, we have water hubs — facilities that efficiently collect, treat and reuse produced and flowback water. Reusing water reduces our reliance on surface and freshwater sources and improves the efficiency of our water handling. Operating recycled water infrastructure is often less expensive than freshwater and avoids the need for wastewater injection. In 2022, we used 100% recycled water for our completions operations in Midland and Martin counties in Texas.
Permian Water Recycling Successes (since 2017)
Montney Water Hub Offers Environmental Benefits in Cutbank Ridge
Our water resource hubs in the Cutbank Ridge of our Montney operating area are closed-loop systems that run on hydropower. Since the hubs have opened, they have conserved approximately 1.3 billion gallons of freshwater, equivalent to the average annual water use of approximately 9,000 households.
In addition to the positive community impact through water conservation, the hydroelectricity-powered facilities have reduced emissions and noise. Additionally, recycled water is transported via pipelines, eliminating nearly 170,000 water hauling truck trips since the hubs started operations.
Much of Ovintiv’s water use occurs during our completions activities. The goal of hydraulic fracturing is to enhance hydrocarbon recovery by creating pathways for the oil and natural gas trapped in the rock to flow through the wellbore to production equipment at the surface. This controlled operation pumps a mixture of primarily water and sand through the wellbore to the targeted formation at a high pressure in multiple intervals or stages. Our wells are designed with advanced planning and engineering to protect groundwater and fresh water zones.
In all Ovintiv operations, rigorous water management and groundwater protection are vital parts of this process.
- An impermeable steel casing system prevents fluids from migrating from the wellbore
- Monitoring the integrity of the casing and cement system through field inspection and wellbore logging ensures real-time response
- Pressure testing the wellbore ensures integrity. We pressure test before we begin completions and during each fracturing stage
Any flow of fluids into non-targeted areas would be detected immediately by a sudden loss in pressure and operations would be halted.
We continue to build upon our detailed understanding of the chemicals used in the completions process to ensure we use the most responsible hydraulic fracturing fluid formulations and fluid management practices available.
Hydraulic fracturing processes are strictly regulated by various state or provincial government agencies. These regulations include keeping Safety Data Sheets that detail the ingredients used in hydraulic fracturing fluid at each location. U.S. and Canadian regulatory bodies establish standards for the disclosure of this information, including the protection of trade secrets and confidential business information. We report the ingredients we are legally permitted to share through the FracFocus chemical disclosure registry.
Ovintiv’s Responsible Products Program provides guidance on managing additive and chemical use in hydraulic fracturing to comply with regulations and mitigate potential environmental and health impacts. All hydraulic fracturing fluid products we use are assessed for potential impact to the environment and human health using generally accepted toxicological criteria.
We also encourage our suppliers to improve their public disclosure of fluid formulations and to advance the development of more responsible fluid additives and test new technologies that reduce environmental exposure and risk.
Ovintiv prohibits the use of hydraulic fracturing fluid products containing:
- 2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE)
- Other heavy metals
Effective spill management requires routine maintenance, situational preparedness, continuous improvement and adherence to regulatory reporting requirements. Our Spill Prevention Principles focus on four areas: transferring fluid, following operational procedures, ensuring equipment integrity and considering spill prevention in our site design. We use these principles to incorporate field-based practices into our operations to prevent spills and to minimize, manage and report them accurately if they do occur.
Preventing spills is essential to minimizing environmental impacts, maintaining our social and regulatory license to operate and ensuring a safe workplace.
Spill Prevention Principles
Checks are in place to reduce spills.
- Never leave fluid transfers unattended
- Conduct regular tank truck inspections
- Ensure valves are in the correct position
Deviating from procedures can compromise spill prevention.
- Follow procedures and do not take shortcuts to prevent spills
- Pay attention during start up and shut down of equipment
- Stop the job if you observe a situation that could lead to a spill
We ensure equipment performs and is maintained correctly.
- Verify tanks, pipes, valves and hoses are properly installed, inspected, tested and maintained
- Validate high-level alarms are fully functioning
Site design is critical to preventing spills.
- Ensure loading and unloading facilities incorporate spill prevention principles
- Include workplace efficiencies in site design considerations
- Certify equipment specifications meet the system requirements to prevent spills
Water Stress Assessment
We recognize that water sources vary by region and no single water management approach works for all areas. Using the World Resources Institute (WRI) Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, we determined that 75% of the counties where we operate have medium to low water stress levels. In operating areas that are considered to have high or extremely high levels of water stress, we incorporate that knowledge into our water management plans.