The natural gas industry is expected to be a good steward of the land and is responsible for implementing good land management practices in order to minimize impacts. Managing the impacts of natural gas development begins at project siting and design and continues throughout construction, operations and eventually through to decommissioning and site reclamation. This process is typically guided by completing land-use studies prior to development to determine the best overall approach to managing impacts of development on sensitive ecosystems which, for example, could include active nesting sites for birds.
Technology reduces footprint
Recent technological advances in horizontal drilling and the use of multi-well drilling pads have greatly reduced the amount of land disturbed in natural gas drilling operations. For example, a 20-well horizontal drilling pad disturbs about five per cent of the land of equal number of vertical drilling pads. And by using common roads to access well sites, additional disturbances on the land are reduced.