Petro-Canada to drill 11 sour gas wells in SW Alberta

The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) has issued Decision 2010-022, which approves (with conditions) applications submitted by Petro-Canada to drill 11 sour gas wells, construct a battery and build two pipelines in the eastern slopes region of south western Alberta.

The ERCB placed 15 conditions on the approvals, including enhanced emergency planning measures, increased noise and groundwater monitoring, and implementing further environmental protection measures. The ERCB also notes that the company made over 300 commitments during the course of the hearing.

In addition, the ERCB made recommendations to Alberta Environment and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development with respect to certain matters under their jurisdiction, including water crossings and protection of wildlife.

Multiple parties and groups – including landowners, ranchers, aboriginal peoples, and those determined to be discretionary participants – participated in the hearing. They expressed concern regarding the need for the project, perceived consultation issues, the route selected, the safety of the public, environmental effects, and socio-economic considerations.

An ERCB public hearing was held on this matter in High River from November 12, 2008 to January 30, 2009. The hearing was lengthy and complex, requiring the ERCB to rule on more than 40 motions from hearing participants.

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