Regulatory and Liability Issues in Horizontal Multi-Stage Fracturing


  • Keith Luft General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Stakeholder Relations, Penn West Exploration.
  • Thomas O'Leary Partner, Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
  • Ian Laing Counsel, Law Department, Imperial Oil Limited



Energy Law, Petroleum Law


The last few decades have witnessed greater exploration of oil and gas developments and improvements and evolution in technology that have been driven by the strong demand for oil and gas. Hydralic fracturing techniques have become subject to scrutiny by the media and public in North America and Europe, with attention being paid to the potential or perceived environmental impact associated with such technological developments. This article explains the context and process in which horizontal multi-stage fracturing (HMSF) functions. In addition, the article explores and outlines the legal and regulatory environments in both Canada and the United States, where issues have been raised owing to the wider use of HMSF. The article seeks to provide readers with a better understanding of these emerging and potential legal and regulatory issues.