Hydraulic Fracturing

Multiple Barriers and Safeguards Protect Surface and Groundwater

Hydraulic Fracturing

In the Kaybob Duvernay Program, we are utilizing horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing technologies in accordance with all regulations prescribed by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and industry best practices. These requirements are designed to prevent any fracturing fluid from mixing or entering groundwater or surface water locations.

Hydraulic fracturing of thousands of wells over the past 60 years in many countries has shown that such operations can be done safely and with no harm to the environment, including aquifers and groundwater supplies.

Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting fluids into the deep underground rock at high enough pressures to create fractures in the rock. This opens pathways in the rock to allow oil and natural gas to flow.

Water and sand constitute more than 99 percent of the fracturing fluid. The remaining one percent consists of a number of chemicals added to improve the fracturing efficiency and effectiveness.  All chemicals are used in extremely low concentrations and have not been shown to be hazardous for their intended use.  

Chevron Canada is a member of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and abides by its guiding principles for hydraulic fracturing. Chevron supports the disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

In the Kaybob Duvernay Program, we have numerous safeguards in place to protect the quality of the groundwater, including well design, containment processes and ongoing monitoring.

Key Safeguards:

  • Our hydraulic fracturing operations are more than three kilometres below any potable groundwater sources.
  • Our wells have multiple layers of steel casing and cement, which form a continuous barrier between the well and the surrounding formations, including potable and non-potable aquifers.
  • During drilling and completions operations, our wells are monitored by on-site teams to ensure immediate response to operating conditions.
  • Throughout the life of our wells, we perform tests to verify long-term integrity.
Diagram showing the safety measure of a hydraulic fracturing well

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Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Regulations

The Alberta Energy Regulator has stringent rules governing all aspects of hydraulic fracturing operations.

  • The AER requires that any hydraulic fracturing fluids used above the base of groundwater protection must be non-toxic and companies must disclose the contents of the fluids upon request.
  • The AER requires that the type and volume of all additives used in hydraulic fracturing fluids must be recorded in the daily well operations record and must be submitted to the regulator.
  • The AER requires that steel casing and full cementing of the wellbore must be in place so that any fluid inside the casing cannot mix with water in underground formations.
  • The AER requires that any produced fluids that are returned to the surface must be handled, stored, and disposed of under stringent AER regulations. No fluids, including those that have been treated, are ever allowed to be released into a natural water body.
  • In 2012, the AER initiated reporting of fracturing fluid using FracFocus.ca. FracFocus has been adopted as the standard reporting mechanism for North America. Chevron Canada’s fracturing fluids are reported using this process.

For more information on unconventional resource development in Canada, please visit:

Aerial image of a Chevron completions site
Illustration showing water trucks at a Hydraulic Fracturing completions operation Our Hydraulic Fracturing Process Watch now