Public Notice

Prairie National Wildlife Area, Saskatchewan – Prairie National Wildlife Area Units 25 and 26 Natural Gas Well Abandonment

08 September, 2021 - The Canadian Wildlife Service must determine whether the proposed decommissioning of five natural gas well sites and associated pipelines, located within the boundaries of Prairie National Wildlife Areas Units 25 and 26, Saskatchewan is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

To help inform this determination, the Canadian Wildlife Service is inviting comments from the public respecting that determination. All comments received will be considered public [and may be posted online]. For more information, individuals should consult the Privacy Notice https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/evaluations/protection on the Registry website. Written comments must be submitted by 12 October, 2021 to:

Joseph D. Kotlar – Protected Areas Specialist

115 Perimeter Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 0X4

306-241-2459(cell)

email: joseph.kotlar@ec.gc.ca

The Proposed Project

Canadian Natural Resources Limited is proposing to decommission five well sites and associated pipelines within the Prairie National Wildlife Area, Units 25 and 26.  The Prairie National Wildlife Area (NWA) lands include a License to Occupy Crown Land by Canadian Natural Resources Limited.  Canadian Natural Resources Limited holds two natural gas well sites on Prairie National Wildlife Area Unit 25 and three natural gas well on Prairie National Wildlife Area Unit 26.  There are associated pipelines with both projects.  

The Prairie National Wildlife Area is administered under the Wildlife Area Regulations of the Canada Wildlife Act.  Prairie National Wildlife Area Units 25 and 26 comprise of 192.50 hectares (475.67 acres) or 65.39 hectares (161.59 acres) and 127.10 hectares (314.08 acres) respectively.   Canadian Natural Resources Limited License to Occupy Crown Land total area for Units 25 and 26 of the Prairie National Wildlife Area is 5.85 hectares (14.42 acres), or 2.38 hectares (5.86 acres) and 3.47 hectares (8.56 acres) respectively.   The License to Occupy Crown Land covers well sites and access roads.  These well site locations were part of historical surplus land transfer in the 1960s from Agriculture Canada to Environment Canada.

The majority of the infrastructure comprising of these wells have exceeded their life span and resource extraction use. As a result, the wells, pipelines and access roads will be decommissioned, abandoned, and reclaimed to a status resembling the current condition of the surrounding habitat.  The scope of this project includes pulling of internal tubing, placing a cement plug down the well, hydrojetting down the well head, cutting and capping the well(s).  Pipelines will be hydrojetted, then pigging and purging of lines occurs and finally risers are cut.  After each site has concluded the decommissioning of wells and pipelines, a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment will be conducted to investigate any Areas of Potential Environmental Concerns, and remediation of the site.  When no further remediation is required areas will be prepared for seeding with appropriate, approved seed mixes.  Multiple years of monitoring of successful reclamation will take place.  An acknowledgement of reclamation will be approved once the departmental representative determines that the site meets reclamation criteria. Upon receipt of that approved acknowledgment of reclamation, Canadian Natural Resources Limited will surrender the lease, withdraw and discharge the caveat from the title.  The expected outcome is restoration of a disturbed site, a small increase in acres of wildlife habitat, and less traffic and site disturbance in the future as resource extraction activities cease.

 

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