Shale Oil in Alberta, Canada
We produce light tight oil (LTO) from the Montney shale formation in northwestern Alberta. On February 17, 2021, Shell announced an agreement to sell our Duvernay assets to Crescent Point Energy Corp.
Shell’s operations in the Duvernay formation are focused on the Fox Creek (Kaybob) and Rocky Mountain House (Willesden Green) areas, and in the Montney formation (Gold Creek) near Grande Prairie, Alberta. Since spudding its first well in 2011, Shell has been steadily growing its premier position in the Duvernay to more than 445,000 net acres, and 74,000 net acres in the Montney formation. Shell’s production in these areas ties into existing Shell-owned and third-party processing facilities. Approximately 300 staff and field contractors support these operations.
Shell is actively working in the Fox Creek Duvernay area, where select areas of its acreage are being developed with multi-well pads. In other areas, where Shell needs to better understand the resource, we continue to appraise and drill exploration wells. Since 2011, Shell has drilled ~250 wells in the Fox Creek area and is currently producing approximately 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).
Meanwhile, we are focused on run and maintain activities in the Willesden Green Duvernay play, producing approximately 2,000 boe/d from ~20 wells. Finally, Shell is engaged in drilling in the Gold Creek area to the south of Grande Prairie, producing approximately 6,000 boe/d.
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Shell puts the safety of its staff, contractors and communities first, and will not pursue operations in the Duvernay and Montney if they cannot be conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. In our operations, we are committed to Goal Zero – no harm and no leaks. We have stringent safety standards in place covering personal, process and transport safety and expect all our employees and contractors to meet these standards. We work relentlessly to share best practices, train our staff and strengthen our safety culture. Safety incidents or near-miss events are investigated, with lessons identified and communicated to staff/contractors, and, as appropriate, additional mitigations are put in place. Along with commercial and production indicators, Shell’s leadership constantly monitors safety performance across our sites in the Duvernay and Montney.
Shell implements its own industry leading Onshore Operating Principles across its shales portfolio. These principles cover safety and well integrity, air quality, water protection and use, land use and engagement with local communities. These principles are designed to manage or mitigate impacts related to our operations. For several years, Shell has been taking steps to reduce its overall freshwater footprint and minimize impact to other water users in northwestern Alberta. For example, in 2013, Shell signed an exclusive long-term deal with the municipality of Fox Creek to use the town’s treated wastewater for hydraulic fracturing. In return, Shell funded the engineering and design to upgrade the town’s reclaimed water facilities. In 2019, approximately 35% of Shell’s water demand in its Fox Creek operations was met by alternative (non-fresh) water sources.
Shell supports a wide range of social investment programs in its Alberta shale communities. Over the past two years, we have financially contributed in these communities, focusing on community development, education, environment, health, safety, community skills and enterprise development.
We work to strengthen our relationships with indigenous communities potentially affected by our activities. We closely engage these communities and seek their input for our decision-making process. In particular, we provide opportunities for indigenous community members to review project plans and visit proposed sites before construction to identify potential impacts to traditional wildlife species, vegetation, landscape features, cultural and spiritual sites of importance. Throughout engagement with indigenous communities, Shell seeks to avoid and/or mitigate impacts to traditional livelihoods. Where possible, Shell also seeks to restore the land and resources of cultural importance to baseline conditions.
Asset Contact Information
Community Feedback Number: 1-855-723-3193