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Case Study

Fox Creek water source for shale gas exploration

Outstanding results delivered for our client in the Duvernay Play

The Challenge

In order to provide a water source for the exploration of shale gas prospects, our client required four Water Reservoirs, with capacities ranging from 30,000 m3- 444,000 m3, near their operations in Fox Creek, Alberta. Advisian was engaged to design the Reservoirs taking into consideration the water management, the groundwater and surface water, geotechnical and civil design constraints and regulatory requirements.

Commercial use of non-saline water resources for industrial injection related to enhanced recovery of oil gas requires a licence under the Water Act including additional supporting studies to meet requirements in the Draft Multi-stage Hydraulic Fracturing Guidelines. Advisian created a water management plan to use in this application to satisfy the above regulatory requirements.

Advisian’s role

Advisian provided an alternate water source assessment study with an analysis of alternative water sources based on feasibility. This included assessing surface water or groundwater sources, recycling and produced water, municipal wastewater, industrial wastewater, etc. The plan produced showed an overall understanding of the available water sources in the region along with the volumes available, the economics of each source and the potential social implications. This was displayed in a Water Management Plan and was analyzed using an evaluation matrix that outlined the best options to gather the required water to fill the reservoirs. It also supported the regulatory applications by showing other water source options were not feasible. Our design included pumping systems both for transfer from the river and withdrawal from the reservoir and an overflow structure in case of emergency. All works were made possible by an extensive geotechnical investigation.


Advisian supported our client from concept to completion. We helped them navigate regulatory approvals, obtain a Water Act licence and dam construction permit application approvals. We followed with a holistic engineering design, regulatory/permitting support and water source planning. Finally providing QA/QC services to see the construction completed.