A mid-sized unconventional operator needed to withdraw water to support their hydraulic fracturing drilling program in northwest Alberta. The client hired Matrix to secure the necessary approvals and to come up with a broader drilling, testing, and licensing strategy for the area that would be approved by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).
Matrix worked collaboratively with the client and was responsible for developing the groundwater source licensing strategy and reviewing groundwater testing information and geologic mapping conducted in the area by the client. As a cost-savings measure, the client completed the initial work in geologic mapping and supervised the drilling and testing of the water well themselves with direction from Matrix to ensure compliance with the Water Act.
At the time of the work, the AER was revising the Water Conservation and Allocation Guideline for Oilfield Injection and was not issuing the usual term licences for water for hydraulic fracturing.
Matrix worked with the client and the AER to come up with an alternative that would allow the client to continue drilling operations and be approved by the AER. The client will complete the drilling and testing of the well, which will allow Matrix to submit a Temporary Diversion Licence (TDL) application. The development of the term water licensing strategy is ongoing.