Project Summary

The numerous oil and gas leases west of Valleyview, Alberta are maintained by various companies and are continually being expanded and connected to the local pipeline network. As part of this expansion, additional pipeline segments were planned with some watercourse crossings requiring horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to complete. After a number of “frac outs” and the abandonment of a nearly completed HDD crossing due to groundwater issues, Matrix was retained to perform site-specific hydrogeological assessments. Our team used these assessments to conduct a risk ranking and provide mitigative measures for the subsequent planned pipeline crossings.

Our Role

  • Developing a relative risk-ranking system to identify potential groundwater issues for pipeline crossings
  • Conducting a review of available regional data for the area
  • Developing a local hydrogeological framework using available public and client data
  • Identifying key risks to specific planned pipeline crossings and incorporating these into the relative risk-ranking matrix
  • Identifying highest risk crossings and recommending mitigative measures identified risks


  • Previously, no risk-ranking system existed to evaluate potential groundwater issues for pipeline crossings. Matrix developed the system based on previous experience with pipeline watercourse crossings.

Project Outcome

Matrix was able to identify higher-risk HDD crossings and recommend mitigative measures to avert potential frac outs or drilling complications. Subsequently, our client adjusted their plans and successfully completed the crossings. This assessment effectively managed drilling risk, averting potentially significant and costly technical and environmental problems.


  • Pipelines

Services Provided

  • Hydrogeology Services

Project Lifespan

  • January – March 2020

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