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Natural Gas Deposit in British Columbia Called Biggest in North America

Apache Corp. has found what it calls the biggest shale deposit of natural gas in North America, estimated at 48 trillion cubic feet, in northern British Columbia near the border with Yukon and Northwest Territories
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Apache Corp. has found a massive gas deposit under a shale field in northern British Columbia, a type of deposit that is often extracted via hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The company, which holds an interest in the LNG terminal being built at Kitimaat, announced the discovery in the Liard Basin in mid-June after drilling three test wells yielded 21.3 million cubic feet of gas per day during 30 days of production, Reuters reported. This means that the site, in northern British Columbia near the borders of Yukon and Northwest Territories, contains 48 trillion cubic feet of marketable gas over 430,000 acres, Apache said.

That’s two thirds as much as all the other companies working in British Columbia’s Horn River Basin combined, which have 78 trillion cubic feet, the Vancouver Sun said. Apache called the find outstanding and the best shale gas reservoir in North America, according to a press release.

“This is enormous,” said Gordon Currie, senior oil and gas analyst at Salman Partners, to the Vancouver Sun. “Those are big, big numbers.”

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Much concern has been raised of late about fracking and its relation to earthquakes, not to mention its potential contamination of groundwater, although a recent study negated that assertion.

On the upside, Apache spokesperson Bill Mintz told the Sun, the gas was so plentiful and accessible that it required six hydraulic fractures per well rather than the 20 than needed in the company’s other wells in the Horn River Basin.