June 12, 2013
Apache Canada Ltd. today announced that clean-up and remediation efforts continue on the produced water release that was reported on Saturday, June 1, in the area of its Zama operations, approximately 150 km northwest of High Level, Alberta. The cause of the release remains under investigation.
Apache's first priority is the safety of the public and responders and minimizing any impact to the environment. No injuries have been associated with this incident. Apache has implemented its response plan that identified and eliminated the source of the water release, and has taken steps to contain the release as the company continues to map, sample and monitor the impacted areas. The Zama River has not been impacted and there is no risk to the public. Apache is now mobilizing water treatment equipment to begin restoration efforts.
Produced water comes from formation fluids which are extracted during oil and gas operations that contain naturally occurring oil, gas, non-potable water, salt and other minerals. As a part of the production process, formation fluids are brought to the surface and treated to remove recoverable oil and gas. The remaining produced water and associated minerals are re-injected back into the producing formation to maintain the integrity of the reservoir. The water release at Zama involved produced water that had already been treated to remove hydrocarbons.
The company currently estimates approximately 9,500 cubic meters of produced water were released. The affected area is undergoing clean-up, environmental monitoring, wildlife protection and remediation efforts and is currently estimated at 42 hectares.
A fleet of specialized equipment has been deployed to support environmental remediation efforts, which include wildlife, amphibian and vegetation studies.
Apache continues to work closely with the Energy Resources Conversation Board (ERCB) and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD) on site.