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NWT Hydraulic Fracturing Filing Regulations


By Adam Vivian

On April 1, 2015, the Government of the Northwest Territories released the Hydraulic Fracturing Filing Regulations pursuant to section 53(1) of the NWT Oil and Gas Operations Act, S.N.W.T. 2014,c.14. The Government is seeking public comment on the Regulations until June 29, 2015.

The Regulations prescribe the filing requirements for companies that intend to use hydraulic fracturing in the NWT. The Regulations are based heavily on existing National Energy Board guidelines, but include four requirements which are based on what the Government states are the priorities of NWT residents. Under the new requirements, an Applicant who wants to use hydraulic fracturing must:

  1. Submit baseline surface and groundwater information;
  2. Indicate their willingness to disclose a pre-fracturing report, which will include a Risk Assessment Report, Environmental Protection Plan, and a list of chemicals used in their fracturing fluid;
    1. If an Applicant consents to the disclosure of the pre-fracturing report, they must provide a timeline for doing so.
    2. If the Applicant does not consent to the disclosure of the pre-fracturing report, they must provide the Regulator with reasons.
  3. Describe what measures they propose to safeguard air quality;
  4. Provide enhanced reporting.

In addition to the new requirements, the Regulations prescribe the documents and materials which must accompany an application for a well approval or an operating authorization. Further, the Government states that the Regulations do not duplicate the regulatory requirements of other territorial legislation or regulations.

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