Sustainable exploration and production of oil and natural gas involves a commitment to clean water quality through the design and operation of facilities that meet or exceed federal or provincial water quality objectives.
The Ontario oil and natural gas industry is equally committed to safeguarding the quality of regional surface and ground water resources, to reducing the amount of fresh water required per barrel equivalent of production by improving water recycle rates, using low quality (e.g. saline) water sources where feasible, and by developing new technologies.
Ontarians are concerned about the amount of water the oil and natural gas industry withdraws to explore for and develop oil and natural gas, and about potential impacts to fresh water quality. As fresh water sources are increasingly allocated across industries and users by governments, oil and natural gas companies are increasing focus on ways to reduce fresh water per barrel equivalent of production. For example, reduction in fresh water use is primarily achieved through improving water recycling rates in hydraulic fracturing, in situ oil sands and other operations. Using non-potable water sources, where feasible, developing and implementing new technologies, such as treating water from underground saline aquifers, are other ways industry is working to manage water. Industry is also working with provincial and federal government agencies to monitor the quality of regional surface and groundwater resources, striving to ensure that any water re-entering waterways meets all applicable standards.