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Drilling sour gas wells : risk management alternatives for northeast Calgary, Alberta Ross, Robert Ian Laird 1986

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DRILLING SOUR GAS WELLS, RISK MANAGEMENT ALTERNATIVES FOR NORTHEAST CALGARY, ALBERTA By ROBERT IAN LAIRD ROSS B.A., S a i n t Mary's U n i v e r s i t y , 1982 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES School of Community and Regional Planning We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1986 ® Robert Ian L a i r d Ross, 1986 7 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or pu b l i c a t i o n of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of School of Community and Regional Planning The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date A p r i l 28, 1986 7cn ABSTRACT T h e r e i s a g r o w i n g p u b l i c a w a r e n e s s o f and o p p o s i t i o n t o t h e r i s k s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e o p e r a t i o n o f h a z a r d o u s i n d u s t r i a l f a c i l i t i e s n e a r p o p u l a t e d a r e a s . P u b l i c c o n c e r n e s c a l a t e s when t h e i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t y p o s s e s s e s t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r c a t a s t r o p h i c c o n s e q u e n c e s s h o u l d a m a j o r a c c i d e n t o c c u r . T h i s s t u d y e x a m i n e s t h e r i s k o f d r i l l i n g a t o x i c , n a t u r a l s o u r gas w e l l n e a r n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y , A l b e r t a . The s o u r gas p r o b l e m i s i n d i c a t i v e o f t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s o f f i n d i n g s o c i a l l y a c c e p t a b l e s o l u t i o n s t o s u c h r i s k y a c t i v i t i e s . The s o u r gas i n d u s t r y i n A l b e r t a has been s u c c e s s f u l l y d r i l l i n g f o r s o u r g a s r e s e r v e s f o r o v e r s i x t y y e a r s . A l t h o u g h t h e r e has n e v e r been a p u b l i c d e a t h i n t h e p r o v i n c e as a d i r e c t r e s u l t o f e x p o s u r e t o t h e l e t h a l h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e component o f s o u r g a s , r e c e n t u n c o n t r o l l e d a c c i d e n t a l r e l e a s e s , o r ' b l o w o u t s , ' a t s o u r gas w e l l s have c a u s e d t h e p u b l i c i n A l b e r t a t o v i e w t h e r i s k s o f d r i l l i n g f o r t h e t o x i c r e s e r v e s n e a r r e s i d e n t i a l c o m m u n i t i e s t o o b i g t o t a k e . B e c a u s e o f t h e c o m p l e x i t y and enormous a r r a y o f u n c e r t a i n t i e s i n p r e d i c t i n g t h e l i k e l i h o o d and s e v e r i t y o f a s o u r gas w e l l b l o w o u t , t h e E n e r g y R e s o u r c e s C o n s e r v a t i o n B o a r d as t h e r e g u l a t o r and manager o f A l b e r t a ' s o i l and g a s i n d u s t r y i s c o n f r o n t e d w i t h w i d e l y d i v e r g e n t o p i n i o n s o f t h e d a n g e r o f d r i l l i n g s o u r g a s w e l l s . - i i i -A r i s k management i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e s o u r gas p r o b l e m assumes a h o l i s t i c a p p r o a c h , and u t i l i z e s k n o w l e d g e — i n d e p t h , c a s e s p e c i f i c i n f o r m a t i o n t o h e l p u n d e r s t a n d t h e u n c e r t a i n t i e s , t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s and i m p l i c a t i o n s o f s u c c e s s f u l l y d r i l l i n g s o u r gas w e l l s n e a r u r b a n c e n t r e s . P e r s o n a l work e x p e r i e n c e by t h i s a u t h o r on s o u r gas w e l l d r i l l i n g r i g s e n h a n c e s t h e v a l i d i t y and c r e d i t a b i l i t y o f t h e r i s k management a p p r o a c h t o s o u r g a s . The main o b j e c t i v e o f t h i s s t u d y , t h e r e f o r e , i s t o s u g g e s t a l t e r n a t i v e s t o t h e manner s o u r gas w e l l s a r e c u r r e n t l y e x a m i n e d , r e g u l a t e d , d r i l l e d and managed i n A l b e r t a . The t h e s i s r e c o g n i z e s however, t h a t i n c e r t a i n s o u r g a s a p p l i c a t i o n s b e c a u s e p o t e n t i a l c o n s e q u e n c e s o f an a c c i d e n t a r e e x t r e m e , t h a t t h e r i s k c a n n o t be e f f e c t i v e l y managed. I n s u c h i n s t a n c e s , t h e p r o p o s a l may have t o be d e n i e d . The r i s k management s t u d y b e g i n s by e x a m i n i n g how t h e l a n d u s e c o n f l i c t between u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t and s o u r gas d e v e l o p m e n t m a t e r i a l i z e d . By u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e u n c e r t a i n t i e s o f s a f e l y d r i l l i n g s o u r g a s w e l l s , e s p e c i a l l y w i t h r e g a r d t o t h e v i t a l r o l e t h a t human e r r o r can p l a y i n c o n t r i b u t i n g t o a w e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m , t h e i n a d e q u a c y o f a t e c h n i c a l s o l u t i o n t o r i s k y p r o b l e m s i s e m p h a s i z e d . Upon an e x t e n s i v e r e v i e w o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e r e l e v a n t t o r i s k r e s e a r c h , t h e l i m i t a t i o n s o f a q u a n t i t a t i v e , p r o b a b i l i s t i c a p p r o a c h t o u n d e r s t a n d r i s k y a c t i v i t i e s l i k e - i v -d r i l l i n g s o u r gas w e l l s i s o u t l i n e d . C r u c i a l t o t h e r i s k management p r o c e s s i s t h e need t o r e c o g n i z e t h e l e g i t i m a c y o f t h e p u b l i c ' s p e r c e p t i o n s , c o n c e r n s and f e a r s o f r i s k s and t o more r e a d i l y i n c l u d e t h e p u b l i c i n d i s c u s s i o n s o f t h e r i s k s . U n l e s s t h e p u b l i c ' s p o i n t o f v i e w i s u n d e r s t o o d , t h e p r i n c i p a l d i f f i c u l t y o f m a n a g i n g r i s k y d i s p u t e s , r e c o n c i l i n g d i f f e r e n t o p i n i o n s o f t h e r i s k s , w i l l r e m a i n v e r y p r o m i n e n t . The s o u r gas i n d u s t r y i n A l b e r t a i s a t a c r i t i c a l p o i n t o f d e v e l o p m e n t . The c u r r e n t s o u r g a s p r o p o s a l p o s s e s s e s t h e p o t e n t i a l t o r e p r e s e n t t h e p r e c e d e n t f o r t h e manner t h e r i s k s o f s o u r g a s w i l l be managed. The e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h i s p r o b l e m p r e s e n t s an o p p o r t u n i t y t o l e a r n a b o u t t h e t e c h n i c a l , m o r a l , e c o n o m i c , s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s o f o p e r a t i n g h a z a r d o u s i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t i e s n e a r r e s i d e n t i a l c o m m u n i t i e s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , t h i s t h e s i s has c o n c l u d e d t h a t t h o s e i n v o l v e d i n t h e s o u r ga s p r o b l e m have a g r e a t d e a l o f c a t c h i n g up t o do t o assume a p l a c e i n t h e c l a s s r o o m o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g a h o l i s t i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e r i s k s o f s o u r g a s . - V -T A B L E OF CONTENTS Page CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION 1.1 P r o b l e m 1 1.2 P r o b l e m S t a t e m e n t 3 1.3 S c o p e 3 1.4 O b j e c t i v e s 4 1.5 Methods 4 1.6 D e f i n i t i o n o f S o u r Gas 5 1.7 P u r p o s e o f R i s k Management 6 1.8 T h e s i s O r g a n i z a t i o n 8 CHAPTER 2 - NORTHEAST CALGARY'S LAND USE CONFLICT WITH SOUR GAS 2.1 I n t r o d u c t i o n 10 2.2 E c o n o m i c S i g n i f i c a n c e o f S o u r Gas 12 2.3 C a l g a r y P a s t 21 2.3.1 E a r l y E v o l u t i o n o f P l a n n i n g i n A l b e r t a 23 2.3.2 O r i g i n s and I n f l u e n c e o f t h e O i l and Gas I n d u s t r y i n C a l g a r y , A l b e r t a 26 2.4 E s t a b l i s h m e n t o f S o u r Gas I n d u s t r y 29 2.5 R a p i d U r b a n G r o w t h 33 2.6 ERCB R e g u l a t i o n o f S o u r Gas 52 2.7 I n e v i t a b l e C o n f l i c t . . . . 67 CHAPTER 3 - UNCERTAINTIES AND RISKS IN SOUR GAS DEVELOPMENT 3.1 I n t r o d u c t i o n 71 3.2 D r i l l i n g S y s t e m s and A s s o c i a t e d U n c e r t a i n t i e s 72 3.3 Human F a i l u r e 90 3.4 U n c e r t a i n t y o f T o x i c i t y and O t h e r H e a l t h E f f e c t s o f H 2 S . 139 3.5 C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l ' s A p p l i c a t i o n 150 3.6 Summary 167 - v i -Page CHAPTER 4 - OBJECTIVE ANALYSES AND RELATED UNCERTAINTIES IN QUANTIFYING THE RISKS OF SOUR GAS 4.1 I n t r o d u c t i o n 169 4.2 H i s t o r y o f F o r m a l R i s k A n a l y s i s 171 4.3 R i s k A n a l y s e s o f S o u r Gas> 183 4.4 D e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t h e P r o b a b i l i t y o f a S o u r Gas W e l l R e l e a s e . . . . 192 4.5 D e t e r m i n a t i o n o f t h e C o n s e q u e n c e s o f a S o u r Gas R e l e a s e 204 4.6 P r o b l e m s and U n c e r t a i n t i e s i n F o r m a l R i s k A n a l y s i s 218 CHAPTER 5 - SUBJECTIVE DIMENSIONS IN ASSESSING THE RISKS OF SOUR GAS 5.1 I n t r o d u c t i o n 228 5.2 D i s p a r i t y o f R i s k P e r c e p t i o n s . 231 5.3 J u d g m e n t a l B i a s e s i n C h a r a c t e r i z i n g t h e R i s k s o f S o u r G a s . . . . 238 5.4 A c c e p t a b l e R i s k .. 255 5.5 R i s k Management o f S o u r Gas 265 CHAPTER 6 - CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 6.1 C o n c l u s i o n s 285 6.2 Recommendations 290 BIBLIOGRAPHY 305 MAPS 320 FIGURES ..... 327 TABLES 335 APPENDICES.. 338 - v i i -LIST OF TABLES Page T a b l e 1 P o p u l a t i o n g r o w t h o f C i t y o f C a l g a r y 335 T a b l e 2 O u t e r s u b u r b s p o p u l a t i o n g r o w t h 336 T a b l e 3 Wind d i r e c t i o n f r e q u e n c y i n n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y 337 - v i i i -LIST OF FIGURES Page F i g u r e 1 C o m p a r i s o n o f sweet and s o u r gas r e s e r v e s and p r o d u c t i o n 327 F i g u r e 2 S o u r gas w e l l d r i l l i n g r i g 72a F i g u r e 3 D r i l l i n g p r o b l e m s i n r e l a t i o n t o d e p t h o f w e l l . 328 F i g u r e 4 D r i l l i n g mud c i r c u l a t i o n d i a g r a m 329 F i g u r e 5 L o s t c i r c u l a t i o n 330 F i g u r e 6 Mud w e i g h t s and f o r m a t i o n p r e s s u r e s . . . . . 331 F i g u r e 7 P e t r o l e u m w e l l k i c k 332 F i g u r e 8 B l o w o u t c o n t r o l c a p p i n g t e c h n i q u e 333 F i g u r e 9 S o u r gas w e l l b l o w o u t f a u l t t r e e 334 LIST OF MAPS Page Map 1 Land Use C o n f l i c t Between U r b a n D e v e l o p m e n t and S o u r Gas D e v e l o p m e n t 320 Map 2 C a l g a r y A n n e x a t i o n s . 321 Map 3 C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l P e t r o l e u m L t d . and P e t r o g a s P r o c e s s i n g S o u r Gas O p e r a t i o n s 322 Map 4 P r i n c i p a l S o u r Gas A r e a s i n A l b e r t a . . . . . . 323 Map 5 N o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y S u b d i v i s i o n C o m m u n i t i e s 324 Map 6 100 P a r t s P e r M i l l i o n H2S I s o p l e t h C o n t o u r i n s i d e N o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y ( 1 9 7 4 ) . . 325 Map 7 I s o p l e t h C o n t o u r s f o r 1984 CanOxy P r o p o s a l 326 - X -LIST OF APPENDICES Page A p p e n d i x 1 T o x i c i t y o f H 2S 338 A p p e n d i x 2 P r o p e r t i e s o f H2S 339 A p p e n d i x 3 C a l g a r y ' s o u t e r s u b u r b g r o w t h 340 A p p e n d i x 4 H2S s a f e s e p a r a t i o n d i s t a n c e s 341 A p p e n d i x 5 Improper mud c o n t r o l and s u r f a c e c o n t r o l p r o c e d u r e s 342 A p p e n d i x 6 R i g e m p l o y e e s maximum h e a r t r a t e s 343 A p p e n d i x 7 D r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y a c c i d e n t s 344 A p p e n d i x 8 C o m p a r i s o n o f s o c i e t a l r i s k s 345 - x i -ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I w i s h t o e x p r e s s my s i n c e r e s t g r a t i t u d e t o the many p e o p l e whose a s s i s t a n c e c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h i s t h e s i s , and t o t h o s e i n d i v i d u a l s whose u n d e r s t a n d i n g e n c o u r a g e d and m o t i v a t e d me. I a p p r e c i a t e t h e i n f o r m a t i o n and i n t e r e s t w h i c h was p r o v i d e d by i n d i v i d u a l s l i k e Mr. A r l e y C o c k s o f C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l P e t r o l e u m L t d . and Mr. Dwayne Waisman o f t h e E n e r g y R e s o u r c e s C o n s e r v a t i o n B o a r d . I am i n d e b t e d t o my t h e s i s a d v i s o r , Mr. Norman D a l e , whose p a t i e n c e , g u i d a n c e , c r e a t i v e i n s i g h t and comments were i n v a l u a b l e t o my work. D r . Andrew Thompson and Mr. R o b e r t H o r n a l l d e s e r v e s p e c i a l t h a n k s f o r r e v i e w i n g and e x a m i n i n g my t h e s i s on s u c h s h o r t n o t i c e . To J e e v a and Andrew J o n a h s , I t h a n k f o r t h e i r h a r d work i n t y p i n g t h e t h e s i s . F i n a l l y , I am g r a t e f u l t o my f a m i l y and f r i e n d s whose l o v e and s u p p o r t was a s o u r c e o f s t r e n g t h . My m o t h e r , my s i s t e r K a t h r y n and b r o t h e r - i n - l a w J o h n , a r e e s p e c i a l l y d e s e r v i n g o f t h a n k s f o r t h e i r f a i t h and b e l i e f i n me. - 1 -CHAPTER 1 1.1 P r o b l e m I n c r e a s i n g l y , p u b l i c p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s t o c o n s i d e r t h e s i t i n g o f p o t e n t i a l l y h a z a r d o u s i n d u s t r i a l f a c i l i t i e s n e a r p o p u l a t e d u r b a n a r e a s a r e com i n g u n d e r i n t e n s e p u b l i c s c r u t i n y . The r i s k o f a p o t e n t i a l c a t a s t r o p h i c a c c i d e n t l i k e t h a t w h i c h o c c u r r e d a t B h o p a l , I n d i a , i n December, 1984, e m p h a s i z e s t h e g r o w i n g c o n c e r n s o v e r t h e s a f e t y and c o m p a t i b i l i t y o f d a n g e r o u s i n d u s t r i e s and u r b a n p o p u l a t i o n s . I n A l b e r t a , t h e p r a c t i c e o f d r i l l i n g w e l l s f o r n a t u r a l g a s c o n t a i n i n g h i g h l y t o x i c h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e ( H 2 S ), o r s o u r g a s , t o r e s i d e n t s l i v i n g i n . c l o s e p r o x i m i t y t o t h e s e f a c i l i t i e s , i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f s u c h a d a n g e r o u s r i s k . I m p l i c i t i n t h e d r i l l i n g and d e v e l o p m e n t o f any p e t r o l e u m w e l l i s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f an a c c i d e n t a l r e l e a s e , o r b l o w o u t , o f h y d r o c a r b o n s t o t h e a t m o s p h e r e . A s o u r gas w e l l b l o w o u t o c c u r r i n g n e a r o f a p o p u l a t e d a r e a c o u l d e x p o s e r e s i d e n t s t o l e t h a l c o n c e n t r a t i o n s o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e , t h e r e b y p l a c i n g t h e i r h e a l t h and s a f e t y a t r i s k . The A l b e r t a o i l and gas i n d u s t r y i s v e r y e x p e r i e n c e d and a w o r l d l e a d e r i n o b t a i n i n g and p r o c e s s i n g s o u r n a t u r a l gas r e s e r v e s . The i n d u s t r y i s e x t r e m e l y w e l l r e g u l a t e d , f r o m a s a f e t y p o i n t o f v i e w , b o t h i n t e r n a l l y and e x t e r n a l l y , and f e e l s c o n f i d e n t t h a t s o u r g a s w e l l s c a n c o n t i n u e t o be s u c c e s s f u l l y d r i l l e d and d e v e l o p e d n e a r p o p u l a t e d a r e a s . - 2 -T h i s t h e s i s c o n c e r n s an a p p l i c a t i o n by a C a l g a r y o i l company, C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l P e t r o l e u m L t d . , t o d r i l l a s o u r g a s w e l l a p p r o x i m a t e l y two k i l o m e t r e s f r o m r e s i d e n t i a l c o m m u n i t i e s i n n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y , A l b e r t a . The p r e s e n t a p p l i c a t i o n i s a r e v i s e d v e r s i o n o f t h e o r i g i n a l a p p l i c a t i o n made i n t h e s p r i n g o f 1984 t o d r i l l a w e l l w i t h i n 900 m e t r e s o f t h e c i t y ' s n o r t h e a s t b o u n d a r y . C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l ' s p r o p o s a l r e p r e s e n t s one o f t h e most t h o r o u g h l y d i s c u s s e d and s c r u t i n i z e d e n e r g y r e s o u r c e d e v e l o p m e n t p r o p o s a l s e v e r c o n s i d e r e d i n t h e p r o v i n c e . A d e c i s i o n on t h e a p p l i c a t i o n has b e e n t e m p o r a r i l y d e f e r r e d . The o i l company's p r o p o s a l i s r e f l e c t i v e o f t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s i n p u b l i c p o l i c y m aking o f c o p i n g w i t h c o n f l i c t i n g p e r c e p t i o n s o f r i s k , and how t o b e s t manage t h e p r o b l e m when t h e p o s i t i o n s o f t h e d i s p u t i n g i n t e r e s t s a r e b a s e d on w i d e l y d i v e r g e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f t h e r i s k i n q u e s t i o n . W h i l e i n t e r e s t i n e x a m i n i n g i n d u s t r i a l r i s k s has grown c o n s i d e r a b l y i n t h e p a s t d e c a d e , t h e f o c u s o f most r e s e a r c h has been on m a t h e m a t i c a l and e n g i n e e r i n g e s t i m a t e s o f h a z a r d s and on a t t i t u d e f o r m a t i o n i n i n d i v i d u a l s t o e x p l a i n why i n d i v i d u a l r i s k p e r c e p t i o n s d i f f e r f r o m e n g i n e e r i n g e s t i m a t e s . T h i s r e s e a r c h , w h i l e g r e a t l y f a c i l i t a t i n g t h e a b i l i t y t o a s s e s s t h e p r o b a b i l i t i e s and c o n s e q u e n c e s o f a r i s k and t o c o n j e c t u r e why p e o p l e a t r i s k r e s p o n d i n a p a r t i c u l a r way, d o e s not p r o v i d e a t h o r o u g h u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f - 3 -t h e u n c e r t a i n t i e s i n h e r e n t i n e v e r y r i s k p r o b l e m and t h e r e b y n e g a t e s t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o e f f e c t i v e l y manage t h e p r o b l e m . 1.2 Problem Statement By i d e n t i f y i n g t h e n a t u r e and o r i g i n s o f t h e r i s k s o f d r i l l i n g t o x i c n a t u r a l s o u r gas w e l l s n e a r p o p u l a t e d a r e a s , and t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s o f m a naging w i d e l y d i f f e r e n t p e r c e p t i o n s o f r i s k s , t h i s t h e s i s e x p l a i n s where t h e r i s k management a t t e n t i o n c o u l d be f o c u s s e d t o e n s u r e a s a f e r o p e r a t i o n o f s o u r g a s w e l l s and t o a c c o u n t f o r p u b l i c c o n c e r n s o v e r s o u r g a s . T h i s t h e s i s assumes t h a t g i v e n t h e e x t e n t o f s o u r g a s r e s e r v e s , f a c i l i t i e s and i n v e s t m e n t i n t h e p r o v i n c e , some s o u r g a s w e l l d r i l l i n g w i l l c o n t i n u e t o be p a r t o f A l b e r t a ' s o i l and gas i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t y . A t h o r o u g h r i s k management a p p r o a c h t o p a r t i c u l a r s o u r g a s w e l l s may a l s o mean i n some i n s t a n c e s , t h a t t h e r i s k o f p o t e n t i a l c o n s e q u e n c e s o f an a c c i d e n t a l r e l e a s e i s so e x t r e m e t h a t c e r t a i n w e l l s s h o u l d n o t be d r i l l e d . R i s k management, t h e r e f o r e , d o e s not i m p l y t h a t s o u r g a s w e l l d r i l l i n g w i l l p r o c e e d i n e v e r y a p p l i c a t i o n . 1.3 Scope The p r a c t i c e o f d r i l l i n g f o r , p r o d u c i n g , t r a n s p o r t i n g and p r o c e s s i n g s o u r gas r e q u i r e s s e p a r a t e i n d u s t r i a l - 4 -o p e r a t i o n s and c a n n o t be s i m u l t a n e o u s l y d i s c u s s e d as a s i n g l e s y s t e m . E a c h o p e r a t i o n c o n s i s t s o f a d i f f e r e n t p o t e n t i a l f o r an a c c i d e n t a l r e l e a s e o f t o x i c h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e g a s . D r i l l i n g a s o u r g a s w e l l r e p r e s e n t s t h e i n i t i a l s t a g e i n o b t a i n i n g t h e raw n a t u r a l g a s . S i n c e t h e a u t h o r o f t h i s s t u d y has e x t e n s i v e p e r s o n a l work e x p e r i e n c e i n t h e d r i l l i n g p h a s e o f s o u r gas w e l l s i n A l b e r t a , and t h e r e f o r e p r a c t i c a l i n s i g h t i n t o t h e e x i s t i n g p r o b l e m a r e a s , t h e f o c u s o f t h i s t h e s i s w i l l be l i m i t e d t o t h e d r i l l i n g o p e r a t i o n i n t h e d i s c u s s i o n o f r i s k management t e c h n i q u e s . 1.4 Objectives The o b j e c t i v e o f t h i s t h e s i s w i l l be t o examine t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s and u n c e r t a i n t i e s o f d r i l l i n g a s o u r g a s w e l l n e a r n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y and t o recommend a l t e r n a t i v e s i n t h e manner t h e r i s k o f s o u r g a s i s a p p r o a c h e d . The g e n e r a l o b j e c t i v e w i l l be a c h i e v e d i n t h e f o l l o w i n g ways: 1. E x a m i n i n g t h e p l a n n i n g p o l i c i e s t h a t l e d t o t h e f o r m a t i o n o f a l a n d use p r o b l e m between u r b a n s u b d i v i s i o n d e v e l o p m e n t and s o u r g a s d e v e l o p m e n t ; 2. I d e n t i f y i n g t h e u n c e r t a i n t i e s o f d r i l l i n g s o u r gas w e l l s ; 3. A s c e r t a i n i n g t h e i n a d e q u a c i e s o f a q u a n t i t a t i v e a p p r o a c h t o s o u r g a s ; 4. R e v e a l i n g t h e l i m i t a t i o n s i n t h e s o c i e t a l r e s p o n s e t o t h e r i s k s o f s o u r g a s ; and - 5 -5. I n t e g r a t i n g a p e r s o n a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e r i s k o f d r i l l i n g s o u r g a s w e l l s t o h e l p f o r m u l a t e a l t e r n a t i v e r i s k management t e c h n i q u e s t h a t a d d r e s s t h e u n c e r t a i n t i e s o f s o u r g a s . 1.5 Methods T h i s t h e s i s has been d e v e l o p e d f r o m a number o f s o u r c e s o f d a t a : 1. An e x a m i n a t i o n o f C i t y o f C a l g a r y g e n e r a l p l a n s and p l a n n i n g r e p o r t s ; E n e r g y R e s o u r c e s C o n s e r v a t i o n B o a r d d e c i s i o n r e p o r t s , d i r e c t i v e s and i n f o r m a t i o n l e t t e r s ; p u b l i c i n t e r v e n o r s u b m i s s i o n s t o c u r r e n t w e l l p r o p o s a l ; and an e x t e n s i v e s u r v e y o f C a l g a r y H e r a l d n e w s p a p e r s , 2 . A r e v i e w o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e i n t h e f i e l d o f r i s k ; 3. I n t e r v i e w s , m e e t i n g s and c o n v e r s a t i o n s w i t h t h o s e i n d i v i d u a l s and g r o u p s a c t i v e l y i n v o l v e d i n t h e s o u r g a s w e l l a p p l i c a t i o n ; and, 4. S i x y e a r s o f p e r s o n a l work e x p e r i e n c e on s o u r gas d r i l l i n g r i g s i n A l b e r t a . 1.6 D e f i n i t i o n of Sour Gas Raw n a t u r a l gas may be one o f two v a r i e t i e s , e i t h e r s w eet o r s o u r . By d e f i n i t i o n , a g a s i s t ermed s o u r i f i t c o n t a i n s a h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e ( H 2 S ) c o n t e n t e x c e e d i n g 0.05% by v o l u m e . Sweet g a s , on t h e o t h e r hand i s n a t u r a l g a s - 6 -w i t h o u t t h i s amount o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e . The p r i n c i p a l h a z a r d o f e x p o s u r e t o H2S i s d e a t h by i n h a l a t i o n . The i m m e d i a t e e f f e c t o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e i s d e p e n d e n t upon the d o s e i n s p i r e d , w h i c h i s d i r e c t l y a f f e c t e d by b o t h i t s c o n c e n t r a t i o n and v o l u m e . When c o n c e n t r a t e d , s o u r gas i s an a c u t e k i l l e r and o d o u r l e s s . In l e s s e r c o n c e n t r a t i o n s , i t i s p o t e n t i a l l y h a z a r d o u s and has an e a s i l y r e c o g n i z a b l e " r o t t e n e g g " o r s o u r s m e l l . I t s h o u l d be n o t e d t h a t h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e may a l s o be e n c o u n t e r e d i n o i l w e l l s , b u t i n t h i s r e s e a r c h , t h e f o c u s i s on t h e s o u r n a t u r a l gas w e l l s . F o r a more d e t a i l e d r e v i e w o f t h e t o x i c i t y and p r o p e r t i e s o f H 2 S , r e f e r t o A p p e n d i c e s 1 and 2 . 1.7 Purpose of Risk Management D e c i s i o n s c o n c e r n i n g t h e d e v e l o p m e n t and management o f h a z a r d o u s t e c h n o l o g i e s r a i s e s e v e r a l i s s u e s i n v o l v i n g t h e e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e i r i m p a c t s on s o c i e t y . To t h o s e r e s i d e n t s e x p o s e d t o t h e r i s k , t h e most i m m e d i a t e p r o b l e m o f s o u r g a s w e l l s n e a r u r b a n c o m m u n i t i e s i s t h e u n c e r t a i n t y o f w h e t h e r o r n o t an a c c i d e n t a l r e l e a s e o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e w i l l o c c u r and i f so, w i t h what c o n s e q u e n c e s . The d i f f i c u l t y t o the d e c i s i o n - m a k e ^ xs t h e u n c e r t a i n t y w h e t h e r o r n o t and u n d e r what c o n d i t i o n s s h o u l d a p o t e n t i a l l y d a n g e r o u s w e l l be d r i l l e d i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e . - 7 -W h i l e s u c c e s s f u l d r i l l i n g , c o m p l e t i o n and p r o d u c t i o n o f t h e s o u r g a s w e l l would r e s u l t i n e c o n o m i c b e n e f i t s , an u n c o n t r o l l e d r e l e a s e o f a t t h e w e l l c o u l d r e s u l t i n s e v e r e h e a l t h and s a f e t y c o s t s . N e i t h e r b e n e f i t s o r c o s t s a r e b o r n e e q u i t a b l y by t h e p a r t i e s i n v o l v e d . A r i s k management d e c i s i o n by A l b e r t a ' s r e g u l a t o r o f t h e o i l and ga s i n d u s t r y , t h e E n e r g y R e s o u r c e s C o n s e r v a t i o n B o a r d , on t h e p r o p o s a l t o d r i l l a s o u r g a s w e l l n e x t d o o r t o n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y c o u l d be a i d e d by any o f s e v e r a l a n a l y t i c t e c h n i q u e s , i n c l u d i n g c o s t - b e n e f i t a n a l y s i s , s o c i a l i m p a c t a s s e s s m e n t and d e c i s i o n a n a l y s i s . However, t h e s e t e c h n i q u e s c a n p r o v i d e o n l y a l i m i t e d amount o f i n f o r m a t i o n , l i k e what t h e m o n e t a r y b e n e f i t s o f d r i l l i n g t h e w e l l a r e , what t h e s o c i a l r e a c t i o n o f a w e l l b e i n g d r i l l e d w i l l be o r what t h e key f a c t o r s o f a d e c i s i o n a r e . I n t h i s s e n s e , r i s k management s h o u l d n o t be v i e w e d e n t i r e l y as an end i n i t s e l f b u t r a t h e r as an i m p o r t a n t d e c i s i o n t o o l i n t h e c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l ' s a p p l i c a t i o n . I n a n a l y z i n g r i s k p r o b l e m s , t h e c e n t r a l need i s t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e u n c e r t a i n t i e s o f t h e r i s k i n q u e s t i o n , and t o e v a l u a t e , o r d e r and s t r u c t u r e i n e v i t a b l y i n c o m p l e t e and c o n f l i c t i n g k n o w l e d g e so t h a t t h e management a c t s c an be c h o s e n w i t h t h e b e s t p o s s i b l e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e c u r r e n t k n o w l e d g e , i t s l i m i t a t i o n s and i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s . R e l y i n g on q u a n t i t a t i v e p r e d i c t i o n s o f t h e p r o b a b i l i t y o f r i s k t o b a s e d e c i s i o n s f r o m e n t a i l s a g r e a t d e a l o f v a r i a b i l i t y and - 8 -e d u c a t e d g u e s s w o r k . S o c i e t a l p e r c e p t i o n s o f r i s k on t h e o t h e r hand, a r e s o m e t i m e s b a s e d more on e m o t i o n t h a n a r a t i o n a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e p r o b l e m . The a b i l i t y t o cope w i t h t h e u n c e r t a i n t i e s o f s o u r g a s i n t h i s t y p e o f s i t u a t i o n d e p e n d s on t h e f l e x i b i l i t y o f b o t h i n d i v i d u a l s , i n d u s t r y , and t h e r e g u l a t o r s t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e d i f f e r i n g and v a r y i n g p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e i n f l u e n c e s c r e a t e d by s o u r g a s ; e a c h p a r t y must be a b l e t o s e e t h e o t h e r p a r t i e s ' p o i n t o f v i e w . In t h i s s t u d y , p e r s o n a l work e x p e r i e n c e on s o u r gas w e l l s p r o v i d e s an a d d i t i o n a l d i m e n s i o n t o t h e r i s k management p r o c e s s , not o r d i n a r i l y i n c l u d e d i n r i s k s t u d i e s , t h e r e b y e n h a n c i n g t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e p r o b l e m . The f u n d a m e n t a l i s s u e i s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y how t o c a l c u l a t e , c o n t r o l o r e v e n r e d u c e r i s k , b u t t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e r i s k  p r o b l e m and manage i t ( C l a r k , 1 9 7 9 ) . The c h a l l e n g e o f e f f e c t i v e r i s k management i n e x a m i n i n g C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l ' s s o u r gas w e l l p r o p o s a l i s t o a c t r a t i o n a l l y i n t h e f a c e o f u n c e r t a i n t y and c o m p l e x , e m o t i o n a l c o n c e r n s , where o v e r - r e a c t i o n and t o o much r e g u l a t i o n c a n be c o s t l y , b u t where t h e c o s t a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e o c c u r r e n c e o f a s o u r g a s w e l l b l o w o u t c o u l d be d i s a s t r o u s . 1.8 Thesis Organization F o l l o w i n g t h i s c h a p t e r ' s i n t r o d u c t i o n o f t h e c o n t e n t and i n t e n t o f t h e t h e s i s , c h a p t e r two d i s c u s s e s t h e s i m u l t a n e o u s u r b a n g r o w t h o f C a l g a r y w i t h s o u r gas r e s o u r c e - 9 -development outside i t s northeast boundaries, r e s u l t i n g in an i n e v i t a b l e present day land use c o n f l i c t . Chapter three introduces the uncertainties and the r i s k s associated with sour gas development including the tec h n i c a l aspects of d r i l l i n g a sour natural gas well, the c r i t i c a l importance of the human factor, and the t o x i c i t y of H 2 S , and rela t e s the problems to the current a p p l i c a t i o n by Canadian Occidental. Chapter four explains current concepts of an objective analysis of r i s k and how r i s k has been studied in t h i s manner in the past, elsewhere in the world and in the sour gas industry i n Alberta. The d i f f i c u l t i e s and un c e r t a i n t i e s of placing numerical measures on r i s k w i l l also be discussed. Chapter f i v e examines how sour gas i s perceived by the pu b l i c . The l i m i t a t i o n s of a r e l i a n c e on a s o c i a l appraisal of r i s k w i l l be outlined and management options i d e n t i f i e d . The conclusions of the thesis incorporate an analysis of the findings of the r i s k management study with a p r a c t i c a l i n s ight to sour gas wells, as a basis to make recommendations from. - 10 -CHAPTER 2 NORTHEAST CALGARY'S LAND USE CONFLICT WITH SOUR GAS 2.1 I n t r o d u c t i o n The o i l and gas i n d u s t r y has had a t r e m e n d o u s i m p a c t on t h e g r o w t h and d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e P r o v i n c e o f A l b e r t a . T o d a y t h e p e t r o l e u m s e c t o r c o n t i n u e s t o be t h e b a c k b o n e o f t h e p r o v i n c i a l economy. As a r e s u l t o f t h e o i l and g a s i n d u s t r y boom d u r i n g t h e 1970s, r a p i d e x p a n s i o n o f u r b a n a r e a s i n A l b e r t a has l e d t o c o m p e t i n g u s e s o f l a n d ; r e s i d e n t i a l , m a n u f a c t u r i n g , and c o m m e r c i a l d e v e l o p m e n t have r a d i a t e d o u t f r o m , -while o i l and g a s d e v e l o p m e n t s have e x p a n d e d t o w a r d u r b a n c e n t r e s . The c o m p e t i t i o n has been most s e v e r e n e a r n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y ( r e f e r t o Map 1) and, t o a l e s s e r e x t e n t i n Edmonton, where u r b a n e x p a n s i o n and d e v e l o p m e n t o f t o x i c s o u r g a s r e s e r v e s a r e i n c o n f l i c t . The E n e r g y R e s o u r c e s C o n s e r v a t i o n B o a r d ( E R C B ) , as r e g u l a t o r o f t h e o i l and g a s i n d u s t r y , has a t t e m p t e d t o e s t a b l i s h a p p r o p r i a t e d e v e l o p m e n t a l g u i d e l i n e s o f s a f e s e t b a c k d i s t a n c e s b e t w e e n s o u r g a s f a c i l i t i e s and u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t , i n o r d e r t o r e s o l v e e x i s t i n g and p o t e n t i a l l a n d - u s e c o n f l i c t s , and ^ a v o i d u n a c c e p t a b l e r i s k s t o t h e p u b l i c . The r e g u l a t i o n s t h a t a r e i n e f f e c t t o d a y t o manage t h e s o u r g a s d r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y a r e more a t t u n e d t o t h e - 11 -p o t e n t i a l d a n g e r o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e n a t u r a l gas t o human s a f e t y t h a n t h e r e g u l a t i o n s t h a t a c c o m p a n i e d n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y ' s r a p i d r e s i d e n t i a l d e v e l o p m e n t f r o m t h e mid 1970s t o e a r l y 1980s, b u t a r e n o t e x t e n s i v e enough and a r e , i n f a c t , i n p l a c e t e n y e a r s t o o l a t e . I n 1974, a j o i n t p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t - o i l and g a s i n d u s t r y c o m m i t t e e recommended s t r i n g e n t g u i d e l i n e s t o c o n t r o l u r b a n e x p a n s i o n t o w a r d s o u r g a s r e s e r v e s (A R e p o r t  By The A l b e r t a I n d u s t r y - G o v e r n m e n t S o u r Gas E n v i r o n m e n t a l  C o m mittee on G u i d e l i n e s F o r U r b a n D e v e l o p m e n t i n R e l a t i o n t o  t h e S o u r Gas I n d u s t r y , O c t o b e r , 1 9 7 4 ) . D i s r e g a r d i n g t h i s r e p o r t and t h e l o n g t e r m c o n s e q u e n c e s o f t h e c l o s e p r o x i m i t y o f s o u r gas r e s e r v e s t o t h e n o r t h e a s t p o r t i o n o f t h e c i t y , C a l g a r y c i t y c o u n c i l c o n t i n u e d t o e n d o r s e a n n e x a t i o n s o f r u r a l l a n d t o t h e c i t y f r o m 1976 t o 1983 and t o e n c o u r a g e r e s i d e n t i a l s u b d i v i s i o n t h e r e i n ( r e f e r t o Map 2 ) . C o n s e q u e n t l y , a s i t u a t i o n has s u r f a c e d where p u b l i c c o n c e r n f o r t h e r i s k s o f d r i l l i n g p o t e n t i a l l y d a n g e r o u s h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e gas o u t s i d e n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y has s t a l l e d b o t h u r b a n e x p a n s i o n and s o u r g a s d e v e l o p m e n t . The c h a p t e r w i l l commence w i t h t h e e c o n o m i c i m p o r t a n c e o f s o u r g a s , t h e r e b y p r o v i d i n g t h e i n d u s t r y ' s r a t i o n a l e f o r t h e c u r r e n t p r o p o s a l t o d r i l l two s o u r gas w e l l s w i t h i n two k i l o m e t r e s o f n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y . I n t h e r e m a i n d e r o f t h e c h a p t e r , by e x a m i n i n g t h e manner i n w h i c h C a l g a r y and t h e - 12 -s o u r gas i n d u s t r y grew and e x p a n d e d and how t h i s u l t i m a t e l y l e d t o a l a n d u s e c o n f l i c t , a l a c k o f an e f f e c t i v e method o f r e v i e w i n g s u r f a c e and s u b s u r f a c e l a n d i s s u e s w i l l be made a p p a r e n t . 2 . 2 Economic S i g n i f i c a n c e of Sour Gas A p p r o x i m a t e l y 70 p e r c e n t o f A l b e r t a i s u n d e r l a i n by p r o d u c i b l e o i l and g a s r e s e r v e s (ERCB A n n u a l R e v i e w , 1983, p. 1 8 ) . Of t h i s t o t a l , a p p r o x i m a t e l y 23 p e r c e n t o f r e s e r v e s c o n t a i n h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e , r a n g i n g i n c o n c e n t r a t i o n f r o m o n l y a t r a c e up t o 90 p e r c e n t , , w i t h most s o u r gas w e l l s h a v i n g an H2S c o n c e n t r a t i o n l e s s t h a n 30% (ERCB, A n n u a l  R e v i e w, 1 9 8 3 ) . T h r e e - q u a r t e r s o f a l l s o u r gas r e s e r v e s however, a r e l o c a t e d w i t h i n t e n m i l e s o f a v i l l a g e , town, o r c i t y ( A l b e r t a G o v e r n m e n t - I n d u s t r y C o m m i t t e e on G u i d e l i n e s  f o r U r b a n D e v e l o p m e n t i n R e l a t i o n t o t h e S o u r Gas I n d u s t r y , O c t o b e r , 1 9 7 4 ) . W i t h so much s o u r gas l o c a t e d n e a r p o p u l a t e d a r e a s and a g r o w i n g p u b l i c c o n c e r n i n A l b e r t a o f d r i l l i n g f o r p o t e n t i a l l y t o x i c h y d r o c a r b o n s n e a r u r b a n a r e a s , C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l ' s a p p l i c a t i o n r e p r e s e n t s t h e s t a n d a r d f r o m w h i c h f u t u r e s o u r g a s w e l l s may be e v a l u a t e d . D e n i a l o f CanOxy's p r o p o s a l may u l t i m a t e l y c a u s e a r i p p l e e f f e c t t h r o u g h o u t t h e p r o v i n c e , t h e r e b y d i s r u p t i n g t h e v i t a l e c o n o m i c r o l e o f t h e s o u r g a s i n d u s t r y i n A l b e r t a . The i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e s o u r gas i n d u s t r y ' s e c o n o m i c i n f l u e n c e w i l l be p r e s e n t e d b e l o w . - 13 -A l b e r t a has b een a m a j o r ' b e n e f i c i a r y o f e c o n o m i c a c t i v i t y f r o m o i l and g a s d e v e l o p m e n t s i n c e t h e e a r l y d e c a d e s o f t h e c e n t u r y . A summary o f i t s i n f l u e n c e s i n c e t h e l a t e 1940s was r e c e n t l y r e f e r r e d t o i n an a r t i c l e i n t h e C a n a d i a n P e t r o l e u m A s s o c i a t i o n R e v i e w ( C P . A . R e v i e w , A u g u s t , 1984, p . 1 - 1 0 ) . S i n c e 1947, t h e i n d u s t r y ' s e x p l o r a t i o n and c a p i t a l e x p e n d i t u r e s have t o t a l l e d o v e r $46 b i l l i o n . I n c l u d i n g o p e r a t i n g e x p e n s e s and r o y a l t i e s , t h e o i l and gas s e c t o r has s p e n t a p p r o x i m a t e l y $105 b i l l i o n i n A l b e r t a . From 1973 t o 1983, t h e number o f o i l and g a s w e l l s i n t h e p r o v i n c e i n c r e a s e d f r o m 27,000 t o an a m a z i n g t o t a l o f 65,000 (ERCB A n n u a l R e v i e w , 1983,p. 1 4 ) . I n 1983, g r o s s r e v e n u e f r o m s y n t h e t i c and c o n v e n t i o n a l o i l t o t a l l e d $14 b i l l i o n , w h i l e t h e m a r k e t a b l e g a s g r o s s r e v e n u e was o v e r $6 b i l l i o n (ERCB A n n u a l R e v i e w, 1983, p. 2 9 - 3 0 ) . P r o v i n c i a l r o y a l t i e s f r o m g a s p r o d u c t i o n f o r 1985 were f o r e c a s t t o be n e a r l y $2 b i l l i o n , n e a r l y as much as p e r s o n a l and c o r p o r a t e i ncome t a x e s c o m b i n e d , and n o t f a r b e h i n d o i l ' s $2.7 b i l l i o n c o n t r i b u t i o n ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , November 2, 1985, p. A14) . D u r i n g t h e f i r s t s e v e n months o f 1985, o i l and g a s c o m p a n i e s i n A l b e r t a s p e n t n e a r l y one h a l f a b i l l i o n d o l l a r s a c q u i r i n g p e t r o l e u m l e a s e s a l o n e ( T h e F i n a n c i a l P o s t , A u g u s t 31, 1985, p. 2 1 ) . W h i l e i t i s o b v i o u s t h e o i l and g a s i n d u s t r y g e n e r a t e s enormous r e v e n u e s t o t h e p r o v i n c i a l economy, t h e i n d u s t r y - 14 -was o n l y b e g i n n i n g t o r e b o u n d f r o m t h e d r a s t i c e f f e c t s o f t h e N a t i o n a l E n e r g y P r o g r a m ( N E P ) , d e v i s e d i n t h e autumn o f 1980, when t h e r e c e n t d e c r e a s e i n t h e p r i c e o f o i l b r a c e d t h e i n d u s t r y f o r a s e c o n d slowdown ( T o r o n t o G l o b e and M a i l , F e b r u a r y 18, 1986, p. B 1 7 ) . The P e t r o l e u m I n c e n t i v e P r o g r a m o f t h e NEP g a v e r i c h g r a n t s t o o i l c o m p a n i e s t o s e a r c h f o r o i l and gas i n t h e f r o n t i e r r e g i o n s o f Canada ( i . e . , t h e B e a u f o r t & E a s t C o a s t o f C a n a d a ) . As a r e s u l t , d r i l l i n g a c t i v i t y was d i v e r t e d f r o m A l b e r t a i n l a t e 1980, and t h e p r o v i n c i a l o i l and gas i n d u s t r y began a f o u r y e a r n o s e d i v e . D u r i n g t h e o i l and gas slump, d r i l l i n g e q u i p m e n t use was f a r b e l o w i t s boom y e a r l e v e l s . W i t h r e c e n t c h a n g e s i n f e d e r a l e n e r g y p o l i c i e s , m a r k e t s r a t h e r t h a n g o v e r n m e n t r e g u l a t i o n , became t h e d o m i n a n t f a c t o r i n i n d u s t r y p e r f o r m a n c e ( C a l g a r y  H e r a l d , November 2, 1985, P. A 4 ) . I n 1985, a p p r o x i m a t e l y 11,500 w e l l s , o r 20 p e r c e n t more t h a n i n boom-time 1980 were d r i l l e d as a r e s u l t o f t h e F e d e r a l p o l i c y , t h e W e s t e r n A c c o r d , r e l a x i n g p r i c e c o n t r o l s , f e d e r a l t a x e s and p r o v i n c i a l r o y a l t i e s ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , F e b r u a r y 22, 1986, p. A l , 2 ) . D u r i n g t h e f i r s t f i v e weeks o f 1986, d r i l l i n g c o n t i n u e d i t s h e c t i c p a c e w i t h 441 r i g s e mployed 85 p e r c e n t o f t h e t i m e ( C a n a d i a n A s s o c i a t i o n o f O i l w e l l D r i l l i n g  C o n t r a c t o r s , R i g A c t i v i t y Map, Feb i o , 1 9 8 5 ) . The i n c r e a s e i n d r i l l i n g a c t i v i t y r e f l e c t s t h e p h i l o s o p h y o f t h e o i l c o m p a n i e s i n t h a t t h e q u i c k e r h y d r o c a r b o n s can be f o u n d and - 15 -p r o d u c e d , t h e s o o n e r t h e y r e c e i v e d a r e t u r n on t h e i r e x p l o r a t i o n and d e v e l o p m e n t i n v e s t m e n t . Y e t d r i l l i n g a c t i v i t y c a n f a l l as f a s t as i t r i s e s . W i t h l i t t l e more t h a n a y e a r o f s o l i d r e c o v e r y u n d e r i t s b e l t f r o m t h e l a s t r e c e s s i o n , t h e i n d u s t r y has l i t t l e f a t t o h e l p i t t h r o u g h t a n o t h e r slump as a r e s u l t i n t h e d r o p i n t h e p r i c e o f o i l . O i l c o m p a n i e s have been s p o o k e d by t h e s u d d e n n e s s o f t h e r e c e n t d r o p and, w i t h no s i g n t h a t t h e s o f t o i l m a r k e t i s e n d i n g , w i l l s e t t h e i r c u r r e n t d r i l l i n g b u d g e t s c o n s e r v a t i v e l y ( T o r o n t o G l o b e and M a i l , F e b r u a r y 18, 1986, p. B 1 7 ) . The o i l and g a s i n d u s t r y e n e r g y c r i t i c o f t h e C a l g a r y H e r a l d newspaper s t a t e s t h a t A l b e r t a gas s u p p l i e s 80 p e r c e n t o f C a n a da's n a t u r a l g a s n e e d s and 25 p e r c e n t o f C a n a d a ' s t o t a l e n e r g y n e e d s ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , O c t o b e r 23, 1985, p. D l ) . I n a d d i t i o n , t h e N a t i o n a l E n e r g y B o a r d r e q u i r e s t h a t a 25 y e a r s u p p l y o f n a t u r a l gas i s r e s e r v e d f o r f u t u r e u s e . To meet t h e s e r e q u i r e m e n t s , A l b e r t a has a p p r o x i m a t e l y 5,500 n a t u r a l gas p o o l s on p r o d u c t i o n . A c c o r d i n g t o Hans M a c i e j , t e c h n i c a l d i r e c t o r o f t h e C a n a d i a n P e t r o l e u m A s s o c i a t i o n , w i t h i n 20 y e a r s , g a s i s f o r e c a s t t o be, w i t h o i l , t h e p r i m a r y e n e r g y s o u r c e i n Canada, w i t h t h e two f u e l s e v e n l y s p l i t t i n g a b o u t two t h i r d s o f t h e m a r k e t ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , November 2, 1985, p. A 1 4 ) . A l t h o u g h o n l y 23 p e r c e n t o f A l b e r t a ' s r e m a i n i n g e s t a b l i s h e d gas r e s e r v e s c o n t a i n - 16 -h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e ( a r e s o u r ) , a p p r o x i m a t e l y 53 p e r c e n t o f t h e g a s m a r k e t e d i n 1983 was d e r i v e d f r o m raw s o u r g a s (ERCB  A n n u a l R e v i e w, 1983, p. 1 0 ) . The g r o w i n g i n f l u e n c e o f s o u r ga s i n t h e n a t u r a l g a s i n d u s t r y e m p h a s i z e s t h e i m p o r t a n t r o l e i t p l a y s i n t h e A l b e r t a e n e r g y s i t u a t i o n . F i g u r e 1 p r o v i d e s a g r a p h i c v i e w o f t h e c o m p a r i s o n o f s o u r g a s r e s e r v e s and p r o d u c t i o n w i t h sweet gas r e s e r v e s . By t h e end o f 1983, 167 p l a n t s had been a p p r o v e d t o p r o c e s s s o u r g a s i n A l b e r t a , r e p r e s e n t i n g 65 p e r c e n t o f t h e t o t a l p r o v i n c i a l raw g a s p r o c e s s i n g c a p a c i t y (ERCB  A n n u a l R e v i e w , 1 9 8 3 ) . Most o f t h e g a s was p r o c e s s e d a t l a r g e p l a n t s , b u t t h e t r e n d i n r e c e n t y e a r s has been t o w a r d g r e a t e r u s e o f s m a l l p l a n t s as a r e s u l t o f i m p r o v i n g gas p r i c e s w h i c h have made i t e c o n o m i c t o d e v e l o p s m a l l , more r e m o t e g a s r e s e r v e s . Some o i l p a t c h e r s i n A l b e r t a c l a i m t h a t g r o w i n g i n t e r e s t i n s o u r gas i s m o t i v a t e d more by t h e s e a r c h f o r t h e p r o c e s s e d b y - p r o d u c t o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e g a s , s u l p h u r , t h a n f o r n a t u r a l gas ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J u l y 23, 1985, p. C4) . W i t h an a n n u a l a v e r a g e p r o d u c t i o n o f 5 m i l l i o n t o n n e s o f s u l p h u r and a c u r r e n t h i s t o r i c a l h i g h p r i c e o f $150 p e r t o n n e , t h e a s s e s s m e n t may be c o r r e c t ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , S e p t e m b e r 24, 1985, p. E 4 ) . The t o t a l m o n e t a r y i n f l u e n c e o f t h e s o u r g a s i n d u s t r y t o A l b e r t a i n 1983, c o m p r i s e d o f b o t h p r o c e s s e d n a t u r a l gas and t h e s a l e o f s u l p h u r , was $3.6 - 17 -b i l l i o n (ERCB A n n u a l R e v i e w, 1983, p. 3 0 ) . S u l p h u r i s a v e r y v a l u a b l e commodity i n i n t e r n a t i o n a l m a r k e t s , e s p e c i a l l y i n T h i r d W o r l d n a t i o n s , f o r i t s u s e i n t h e m a n u f a c t u r e o f a g r i c u l t u r a l f e r t i l i z e r s . S u l p h u r a l s o has a v a r i e t y o f u s e s i n o t h e r i n d u s t r i e s s u c h as non-f e r r o u s m e t a l p r o d u c t i o n , p e t r o l e u m r e f i n i n g , i r o n and s t e e l p r o d u c t i o n , r u b b e r , p a i n t s , c h e m i c a l s and p u l p and p a p e r ( T e r r y , 1 9 8 4 ) . A l b e r t a c o n t r o l s 45 p e r c e n t o f t h e w o r l d ' s s u p p l y o f s u l p h u r w i t h an i n v e n t o r y s t o c k p i l e o f 13 m i l l i o n t o n n e s ( T e r r y , 1984).- B r i a n P r e n t i c e , p r e s i d e n t o f A g r i c h e m i c a l s E c o n o m i c R e s e a r c h I n c . , a V a n c o u v e r - b a s e d c o n s u l t i n g company, s a y s e s s e n t i a l l y a l l o t h e r i n v e n t o r i e s i n t h e w o r l d have been u s e d up and Canada i s b e i n g d e p e n d e d upon t o meet demand (The F i n a n c i a l P o s t , May 11, 1985, p. 5 0 ) . S i n c e 1979 A l b e r t a ' s s u l p h u r i n v e n t o r i e s have been d e p l e t e d r a p i d l y and t h e p r o v i n c e i s e x p e r i e n c i n g d i f f i c u l t y k e e p i n g up w i t h t h e f r a n t i c w o r l d demand. The p r o b l e m s w i l l p e r s i s t i f , as e x p e c t e d , A l b e r t a s u l p h u r s a l e s h i t 9.3 m i l l i o n m e t r i c t o n s i n 1985 ( T e r r y , 1 9 8 4 ) . New p r o d u c t i o n w i l l a c c o u n t f o r a b o u t f i v e m i l l i o n m e t r i c t o n s , b u t t h e r e m a i n d e r w i l l have t o come o u t o f t h e p r o v i n c e ' s r a p i d l y s h r i n k i n g s t o c k p i l e s . C a n t e r r a E n e r g y L t d . , one o f C a n a da's l a r g e s t o i l , g a s , and s u l p h u r p r o d u c e r s p r e d i c t e d t h a t a t t h e p r e s e n t r a t e o f - 18 -a c t i v i t y i n A l b e r t a , t h e s u l p h u r s u p p l y w i l l be e x h a u s t e d by 1988 ( C a n t e r r a E n e r g y L t d . , A n n u a l R e v i e w , 1 9 8 4 ) . U n l e s s new r e s e r v e s a r e f o u n d by d r i l l i n g a d d i t i o n a l s o u r gas w e l l s i n t h e p r o v i n c e , A l b e r t a ' s e n v i a b l e s h a r e o f t h e i n t e r n a t i o n a l s u l p h u r m a r k e t w i l l d r o p d r a m a t i c a l l y by t h e end o f t h i s d e c a d e . The s o u r gas i n d u s t r y i n t h e C a l g a r y r e g i o n i s an e x t e n s i v e e c o n o m i c f o r c e . B a s e d upon p r o v e n and p o t e n t i a l r e s e r v e s , s o u r gas f r o m t h e C a l g a r y a r e a i s p r e d i c t e d t o p r o v i d e 10 p e r c e n t t o 15 p e r c e n t o f a l l g a s and 30 p e r c e n t o f t h e t o t a l f u t u r e p r o v i n c i a l s u l p h u r p r o d u c t i o n ( C a l g a r y R e g i o n a l P l a n n i n g Commisson, S o u r Gas S t u d y - F i n a l R e p o r t , J u n e , 1 9 8 4 ) . P r o d u c t i o n i n t h e C a l g a r y a r e a i s e x p e c t e d t o p e a k i n t h e 1990s and d e c l i n e t h e r e a f t e r . C u r r e n t l y t h e r e a r e n i n e m a j o r s o u r gas o p e r a t o r s p r o d u c i n g r e s e r v e s i n t h e C a l g a r y r e g i o n ( S o u r Gas S t u d y - F i n a l R e p o r t , 1984, p . 3 3 ) . C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l P e t r o l e u m L t d . (CanOxy) h a s been t h e o p e r a t o r o f t h e C r o s s f i e l d s o u r g a s f i e l d , a d j a c e n t t o n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y , s i n c e i n i t i a l e x p l o r a t i o n and d e v e l o p m e n t commenced i n t h e a r e a i n 1961 ( C r o s s f i e l d Wabamum A P o o l  D e v e l o p m e n t P l a n , A p r i l , 1984, p. 8 ) . P e t r o g a s P r o c e s s i n g L t d . , owned 33.1 p e r c e n t by CanOxy, o p e r a t e s a s o u r g a s p r o c e s s i n g p l a n t f o r t h e gas f i e l d approximate!:^ t h r e e m i l e s n o r t h e a s t o f C a l g a r y ( C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l P e t r o l e u m L t d .  1984 A n n u a l R e p o r t , p. 8 ) . The c o m p a n i e s have a p p r o x i m a t e l y - 19 -90 m i l e s o f p i p e l i n e s e r v i c i n g 60 s o u r gas w e l l s i n t h e C r o s s f i e l d f i e l d ( r e f e r t o Map 3 ) . As i n o t h e r p a r t s o f t h e p r o v i n c e , e a r l y d r i l l i n g a c t i v i t y i n t h e C r o s s f i e l d f i e l d d i d n o t f u l l y d e t e r m i n e t h e e x t e n t o f s o u r gas r e s e r v e s b u t r e c e n t w e l l s have i n d i c a t e d t h a t s u b s t a n t i a l r e s e r v e s o f s o u r g a s r e m a i n i n t h i s a r e a . CanOxy, i n t h e b u s i n e s s o f o b t a i n i n g and p r o d u c i n g o i l and g a s r e s e r v e s , t h e r e f o r e w i s h e s t o e x p a n d i t s o p e r a t i o n s ( C r o s s f i e l d Wabamum A P o o l  D e v e l o p m e n t P l a n , 1984, p. 8 ) . In a p e r s o n a l c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h me ( A p r i l , 1 9 8 5 ) , J . Angus McKee, P r e s i d e n t o f C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l P e t r o l e u m L t d . , e s t i m a t e d t h e w o r t h o f t h e i n i t i a l w e l l t o be i n t h e v i c i n i t y o f $50 m i l l i o n . . O b j e c t i v e l y t h i s amount o f money may a p p e a r m i n i s c u l e i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e r i s k s t h a t r e s i d e n t s o f n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y may be e x p o s e d t o , and t h e damage t h a t c o u l d r e s u l t i f an a c c i d e n t a l r e l e a s e o f p o i s o n o u s s o u r g a s d i d o c c u r . However, as n o t e d e a r l i e r i n t h i s s e c t i o n , t h e p r o p o s e d w e l l i n many ways r e p r e s e n t s t h e p r e c e d e n t f r o m w h i c h f u t u r e s o u r gas w e l l s n e a r u r b a n a r e a s w i l l l i k e l y be p l a n n e d and e v a l u a t e d f r o m . In t h i s s e n s e , d i s a p p r o v i n g CanOxy's w e l l means much more t o t h e s o u r gas i n d u s t r y i n A l b e r t a t h a n t h e $50 m i l l i o n t h e o i l company hopes t o a c c r u e f r o m t h e w e l l . W h i l e t h e e c o n o m i c i m p o r t a n c e o f s o u r gas may be one c r i t e r i a i n e v a l u a t i n g t h e w e l l p r o p o s a l , t h e more h o l i s t i c - 20 -r o l e t h e p e t r o l e u m i n d u s t r y assumes i n t h e A l b e r t a way o f l i f e s h o u l d a l s o be c o n s i d e r e d . A c c o r d i n g t o s t u d i e s by t h e C a n a d i a n E n e r g y R e s e a r c h I n s t i t u t e , an a g e n c y s u p p o r t e d by t h e f e d e r a l , A l b e r t a , O n t a r i o and S a s k a t c h e w a n g o v e r n m e n t s , t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l g a r y and t h e i n d u s t r y , a l m o s t e v e r y i n d i v i d u a l i n A l b e r t a i s p o t e n t i a l l y a f f e c t e d by t h e o i l and g a s m a r k e t s ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , , F e b r u a r y 22, 1986, p. D l ) . The I n s t i t u t e e s t i m a t e s t h a t e a c h w e l l d r i l l e d i n t h e p r o v i n c e c o n t r i b u t e s t o j o b s and i n c o m e s o f 210 p e o p l e , r a n g i n g f r o m r o u g h n e c k s and t r u c k d r i v e r s t o c o n s u l t a n t s and t e c h n i c a l s e r v i c e c o n t r a c t o r s . The f i g u r e does not i n c l u d e i n d u c e d o r i n d i r e c t employment, s u c h as k e e p i n g s t a f f b u s y a t e n e r g y company head o f f i c e s , o r t h e b e n e f i t s a c c r u e d f r o m o i l f i e l d w o r k e r s h a v i n g money t o s pend on c l o t h e s , r e s t a u r a n t s and c a r s . When t h e o i l and g a s i n d u s t r y moves i n A l b e r t a , t h e e n t i r e p r o v i n c e f l o u r i s h e s . The s o u r gas i n d u s t r y i s a m a j o r p a r t o f t h i s i n f l u e n c e . The i n f l u e n c e d o e s n o t , however, i m p l y t h a t e c o n o m i c b e n e f i t s a l o n e s h o u l d t a k e p r e c e d e n t o v e r a r i s k t h a t c o u l d be d e t r i m e n t a l t o C a l g a r y ' s b e s t i n t e r e s t s . I n s t e a d , c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e e c o n o m i c s i g n i f i c a n c e o f s o u r gas i s b u t one f a c e t o f t h e r i s k p r o b l e m t h a t must be u n d e r s t o o d so t h a t a b a l a n c e d r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f v a r y i n g v i e w s o f s o u r g a s i s p o s s i b l e . - 21 -2.3 Calgary Past I n t h e p a s t 100 y e a r s t h e C i t y o f C a l g a r y , A l b e r t a , has e x p a n d e d f r o m an i s o l a t e d p o l i c e p o s t i n t o a b u r g e o n i n g u r b a n a r e a w i t h a p o p u l a t i o n o f o v e r one h a l f m i l l i o n ( C e n s u s o f C a n a d a , 1981) ( r e f e r t o T a b l e 1 ) . The r a p i d g r o w t h o f C a l g a r y has b een c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f a s i n g l e i n d u s t r y , t h e p e t r o l e u m b a s e d economy. To g a i n p e r s p e c t i v e on C a l g a r y ' s r e m a r k a b l e e x p a n s i o n t h a t a c c e l e r a t e d w i t h t h e m a j o r o i l d i s c o v e r y a t L e d u c , A l b e r t a i n 1947, some a s p e c t s o f C a l g a r y ' s e a r l i e r d e v e l o p m e n t must be c o n s i d e r e d . The c r i t i c a l t u r n i n g p o i n t i n C a l g a r y ' s e a r l y d e v e l o p m e n t was t h e d e c i s i o n by t h e C a n a d i a n P a c i f i c R a i l w a y Company i n 1883 t o t a k e a s o u t h e r l y r o u t e a c r o s s t h e p r a i r i e s and t o f o l l o w t h e Bow R i v e r v a l l e y i n t o t h e R o c k i e s ( F o r a n , 1 9 7 0 ) . T h i s d e c i s i o n p l a c e d t h e s m a l l p o l i c e p o s t and m i n o r l o c a l t r a d e c e n t r e o f C a l g a r y on t h e main l i n e o f e a s t - w e s t commerce. The f i r s t i m p o r t a n t c o n s e q u e n c e o f t h e r a i l w a y ' s p l a n s was t h e r a p i d e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f t h e c a t t l e i n d u s t r y . W i t h i n a few y e a r s o f t h e c o m i n g o f t h e r a i l w a y , C a l g a r y had r e p l a c e d F o r t MacLeod, A l b e r t a (90 m i l e s s o u t h e a s t o f C a l g a r y ) as t h e f i n a n c i a l , a d m i n i s t r a t i v e and s o c i a l c e n t r e o f t h e r a n c h c o u n t r y . By t h e l a t e 1880's r a n c h e r s i n t h e C a l g a r y a r e a were d o i n g s u f f i c i e n t l y w e l l t o become t h e most i m p o r t a n t l o c a l s o u r c e o f i n v e s t m e n t c a p i t a l - 22 -f o r u r b a n s e r v i c e s ( w a t e r w o r k s , e l e c t r i c l i g h t , t e l e p h o n e and s t r e e t r a i l w a y c o m p a n i e s ) ( F o r a n , 1 9 7 0 ) . W h i l e t h e s o c i a l and e c o n o m i c b l e n d i n g o f t h e town and c o u n t r y e l i t e s l e n t a s p e c i a l c h a r a c t e r t o C a l g a r y , i t a l s o a l l o w e d t h e c i t y t o i n t e r p r e t i t s p o s i t i o n i n t h e p r a i r i e west q u i t e d i f f e r e n t l y f r o m , o t h e r p r a i r i e c e n t r e s ( R u t h e r f o r d , 1 9 7 1 ) . C a l g a r y ' s l o c a t i o n a s t r i d e a key t r a n s p o r t a t i o n r o u t e a s s u r e d t h e g r o w t h o f i t s b e e f m a n u f a c t u r i n g i n d u s t r y so much so t h a t by 1911, a c c o u n t e d f o r n e a r l y 25 p e r c e n t o f a l l m a n u f a c t u r i n g i n t h e p r o v i n c e ( C e n s u s o f C a n a d a , 1931, V o l . V I I I , p. 6 6 7 ) . The c i t y a l s o assumed t h e r o l e o f t h e a g r i c u l t u r a l s e r v i c e c e n t r e f o r t h e t h o u s a n d s o f f a r m e r s s e t t l i n g t h e s o u t h w e s t p o r t i o n o f t h e p r a i r i e s . The a g r i c u l t u r a l b a s e d economy became so s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t i t c o n t i n u e d t o d o m i n a t e C a l g a r y and t h e p r o v i n c e u n t i l t h e 1940s. C o n f i d e n t i n t h e f u t u r e o f t h e i r r e g i o n , C a l g a r i a n s commenced t o e x h i b i t e x p a n s i v e m e t r o p o l i t a n a m b i t i o n s . G r o w t h d u r i n g t h e f i r s t d e c a d e o f t h e 2 0 t h c e n t u r y was so s u b s t a n t i a l t h a t e n t h u s e d c i t y a d m i n i s t r a t o r s i n 1913, e n g a g e d a w e l l known E n g l i s h town p l a n n e r , Thomas Mawson, t o draw up a c i t y p l a n f o r one m i l l i o n p e o p l e (Morrow, 1979, p . 2 ) . U n t i l t h e t u r n o f t h e c e n t u r y , c i t y l i m i t s r o u g h l y c o r r e s p o n d e d w i t h what now c o n s t i t u t e s t h e downtown c o r e ( r e f e r t o Map 2 ) . A 1907 a n n e x a t i o n b r o u g h t i n t e r r i t o r y - 23 -now a c c o m m o d a t i n g s u c h i n n e r - c i t y c o m m u n i t i e s as S u n n y s i d e , H i l l h u r s t , S u n a l t a , and Mount R o y a l . In 1910 t h e g e o g r a p h i c a l s i z e o f t h e c i t y was d o u b l e d i n a n o t h e r a n n e x a t i o n . By 1913 however, e s c a l a t i n g l a n d v a l u e s p l u m m e t t e d . S p e c u l a t o r s l o s t money and t h e p l a n n e d s u b u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t s d i s t a n t f r o m t h e downtown r i v e r v a l l e y were n o t t o be r e a l i z e d u n t i l t h e mid 1950's when a r e j u v e n a t i o n o f t h e o i l and gas i n d u s t r y s t i m u l a t e d g r o w t h i n C a l g a r y a g a i n . 2.3.1 Early Evolution of Planning i n Alberta A l b e r t a has one o f t h e l o n g e s t t r a d i t i o n s o f p l a n n i n g i n C a n a d a . The f i r s t e n a c t m e n t o f p l a n n i n g l e g i s l a t i o n o c c u r r e d i n t h e e a r l y 1900s d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d o f r a p i d s e t t l e m e n t t h a t f o l l o w e d t h e e x p a n s i o n o f t h e r a i l r o a d . P l a n n i n g a t t h i s t i m e i n N o r t h A m e r i c a was v i e w e d as a r e q u i r e d f e a t u r e o f any p r o g r e s s i v e and g r o w i n g c i t y ( H u l c h a n s k i , 1981, p. 1 7 ) . S i n c e p l a n n i n g would h e l p t o make a c i t y l i k e C a l g a r y a much more e f f i c i e n t p l a c e i n w h i c h t o do b u s i n e s s , t h e b u s i n e s s e s t a b l i s h m e n t i n C a l g a r y was a b l e t o c o n v i n c e c i t y c o u n c i l t o e s t a b l i s h a P l a n n i n g C o m m i s s i o n i n 1911 t o p r e p a r e a g e n e r a l p l a n f o r f u t u r e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e c i t y ( H u l c h a n s k i , 1981, p . 1 8 ) . The P l a n n i n g C o m m i s s i o n was p r i m a r i l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h m a t t e r s r e l a t i n g t o p h y s i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e c i t y and t o t h e c o o r d i n a t i o n o f m u n i c i p a l s e r v i c e s c a p a b l e o f s u p p o r t i n g - 24 -f u r t h e r g r o w t h and d e v e l o p m e n t . The o b j e c t i v e was t o become more e f f i c i e n t and e f f e c t i v e a t p r o v i d i n g t h e s e s e r v i c e s , and t o h e l p C a l g a r y t o keep up w i t h and p e r h a p s even o u t p a c e o t h e r W e s t e r n C a n a d i a n c i t i e s , many o f w h i c h were a l s o b e c o m i n g i n v o l v e d i n p l a n n i n g . W i t h t h e amount o f p l a n n i n g a c t i v i t y t h a t was b e i n g g e n e r a t e d i n C a l g a r y , and t o a l e s s e r e x t e n t i n Edmonton, t h e Town P l a n n i n g A c t was a d o p t e d i n A l b e r t a i n 1913 ( M u r c h i e , 1978, p. 1 ) . However, S m i t h ' s (1979) s t u d y o f t h e 1913 A c t , n o t e s t h a t i t was r u s h e d t h r o u g h a l l l e g i s l a t i v e r e a d i n g s on t h e l a s t day o f t h e s e s s i o n , c i r c u m s t a n c e s s u g g e s t i n g a low l e v e l o f commitment t o t h e p l a n n i n g l e g i s l a t i o n . The i m p r e s s i o n i s f u r t h e r s u p p o r t e d by t h e l a c k o f o r i g i n a l i t y i n t h e A l b e r t a A c t i n c o m p a r i s o n t o t h e B r i t i s h Town P l a n n i n g A c t o f 1909 and t h e 1912 New B r u n s w i c k A c t . S m i t h a l s o a r g u e s t h a t a l t h o u g h t h e p l a n n i n g movement i n A l b e r t a as i n t h e r e s t o f t h e c o u n t r y , e n j o y e d f a i r l y e x t e n s i v e s u p p o r t d u r i n g s u b s e q u e n t boom y e a r s , t h e s u p p o r t e v e n a t i t s peak, was v e r y s h a l l o w . As l o n g as c o n d i t i o n s were s u c h t h a t g r e a t e r c o o r d i n a t i o n o f u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t was s e e n t o be n e c e s s a r y f o r t h e s a k e o f t h e e f f i c i e n t f u n c t i o n i n g o f t h e c i t y as a p l a c e t o do b u s i n e s s , t h e r e was s u p p o r t f o r t h e c o n c e p t o f p l a n n i n g and p l a n n i n g l e g i s l a t i o n grew. Such a t e n d e n c y t o a l l o w m a r k e t c o n d i t i o n s t o - 25 -d e t e r m i n e t h e f o r m and e x t e n t o f p l a n n i n g became t h e e s t a b l i s h e d manner i n w h i c h p l a n n i n g was p r a c t i s e d i n A l b e r t a . L a n d use p l a n n i n g as a r a t i o n a l p r o c e s s o f i d e n t i f y i n g a c i t y ' s g o a l s and d e v e l o p i n g means o f c o n t r o l o v e r t h e u s e t o w h i c h l a n d i s p u t , was not w i d e l y p r a c t i s e d . A l t h o u g h t h e b u s i n e s s i n t e r e s t s w h i c h i n i t i a t e d p l a n n i n g had v e r y l i m i t e d o b j e c t i v e s , t h e e a r l y p r o f e s s i o n a l p l a n n e r s who f r e q u e n t e d A l b e r t a , s u c h as Thomas Adams and Thomas Mawson, f u l l y b e l i e v e d i n t h e p o t e n t i a l w h i c h p l a n n i n g o f f e r e d t o many s o c i e t a l p r o b l e m s . At t h e r o o t o f t h e i r b e l i e f s was a s t r o n g e l e m e n t o f e n v i r o n m e n t a l d e t e r m i n i s m : by s i m p l y a p p l y i n g some f o r e t h o u g h t t o t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f c i t i e s , many p r o b l e m s c o u l d be a v o i d e d (Adams, 1917, p . 1 7 8 ) . T h i s r e q u i r e d t h e u s e o f s t a t e a u t h o r i t y t o l i m i t , n o t t h e f r e e f u n c t i o n i n g o f t h e l a n d m a r k e t b u t o n l y t h e e x c e s s o f t h o s e who would t a k e a d v a n t a g e o f a s i t u a t i o n t o t h e d e t r i m e n t o f t h e g e n e r a l p u b l i c i n t e r e s t , s u c h as l a n d s p e c u l a t o r s and d e v e l o p e r s . In A l b e r t a however, m u n i c i p a l c o u n c i l s and m u n i c i p a l p l a n n i n g c o m m i s s i o n s were a l m o s t a l w a y s composed o f p r o - g r o w t h e l e m e n t s e i t h e r d i r e c t l y f r o m o r r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e l o c a l b u s i n e s s e l i t e o f t h e community, and i t was t h e y who d e c i d e d t h e t i m i n g and c o n t e n t o f any l a n d use p l a n n i n g a c t i v i t y . The e a r l y h i s t o r y o f p l a n n i n g i n A l b e r t a , t h e r e f o r e , i m p l a n t e d a c o n t i n u a l gap between p l a n n i n g t h e o r y and p l a n n i n g p r a c t i c e . - 26 -2.3.2 Origins and Influence of the O i l and Gas  Industry i n the Calgary Area A l m o s t c o n c u r r e n t w i t h e a r l y u r b a n g r o w t h i n C a l g a r y was t h e commencement o f t h e o i l and g a s i n d u s t r y . A t T u r n e r V a l l e y , 30 m i l e s s o u t h w e s t o f C a l g a r y , on May 14, 1914, t h e o i l d i s c o v e r y known as "Dingham Number One," marked t h e b i r t h o f w e s t e r n C a n a d a ' s p e t r o l e u m i n d u s t r y ( H a n s o n , 1958, p . 7 2 ) . O v e r t h e f o l l o w i n g d e c a d e s e v e r a l h u n d r e d e x p l o r a t o r y w e l l s were d r i l l e d , some o f w h i c h e n c o u n t e r e d s o u r g a s r e s e r v e s . I n 1924, t h e f i r s t c o m m e r c i a l s c a l e g a s p r o c e s s i n g p l a n t i n A l b e r t a was b u i l t i n T u r n e r V a l l e y , and f r o m t h e r e s u p p l i e d C a l g a r i a n s w i t h n a t u r a l g a s r e c o v e r e d f r o m s o u r gas ( E n v i r o n m e n t V i e w s , December, 1984, p. 6 ) . A l t h o u g h t h e T u r n e r V a l l e y f i e l d became C a n a d a ' s l a r g e s t o i l p r o d u c e r f o r more t h a n t h i r t y y e a r s u n t i l t h e L e d u c d i s c o v e r y , a p p r o x i m a t e l y 25 k i l o m e t r e s s o u t h o f Edmonton i n 1947 ( C P . A . R e v i e w, A u g u s t , 1984, p. 2 ) , t h e o i l f i e l d d i d not p r o v e t o be t h e i m m e d i a t e b o n a n z a t h a t C a l g a r y had a n t i c i p a t e d . The d i s c o v e r i e s made by t h e o i l and g a s i n d u s t r y however, added an i m p o r t a n t new d i m e n s i o n t o C a l g a r y ' s e c o n o m i c b a s e t h a t began t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e t h e c i t y f r o m o t h e r w e s t e r n u r b a n a r e a s and c o m m u n i t i e s e l s e w h e r e i n C a n a d a . In 1938, i n u l t i m a t e r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e h y d r o c a r b o n a c t i v i t y , t h e p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t assumed - 27 -a more d i r e c t r e g u l a t o r y r o l e i n t h e i n d u s t r y by e s t a b l i s h i n g i n C a l g a r y t h e P e t r o l e u m and N a t u r a l Gas C o n s e r v a t i o n B o a r d , t h e g r a n d f a t h e r o f t h e p r e s e n t r e g u l a t o r y a g e n c y , t h e E n e r g y R e s o u r c e s C o n s e r v a t i o n B o a r d (ERCB) ( C P . A . R e v i e w , A u g u s t 1 9 8 4 ) . C a l g a r y ' s e a r l y i n v o l v e m e n t i n and i n t i m a t e c o n t a c t w i t h t h e o i l and g a s s e c t o r gave i t an i n i t i a l a d v a n t a g e o v e r o t h e r c i t i e s . By t h e t i m e s i g n i f i c a n t o i l d i s c o v e r i e s were made e l s e w h e r e i n t h e p r o v i n c e a f t e r W o r l d War I I , C a l g a r y was a l r e a d y f i r m l y e n t r e n c h e d as t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e , r e g u l a t o r y , and f i n a n c i a l c e n t r e o f C a n a d a ' s p e t r o l e u m i n d u s t r y . The c o n s e q u e n c e s o f t h e l o n g d i r e c t c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e d e v e l o p i n g p e t r o l e u m i n d u s t r y were o f b o t h s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l and e c o n o m i c s i g n i f i c a n c e . The L e d u c o i l d i s c o v e r y i n 1947 s p a r k e d s u c h an i n t e r e s t i n t h e A l b e r t a n p e t r o l e u m i n d u s t r y t h a t i t a l t e r e d t h e e n t i r e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e p r o v i n c i a l p o s t - w a r economy. F o l l o w up d r i l l i n g i n t h e L e d u c f i e l d r e s u l t e d i n 131 p r o d u c i n g o i l w e l l s f r o m 147 w e l l s d r i l l e d , i m p o r t a n t d i s c o v e r i e s were made e l s e w h e r e i n t h e p r o v i n c e , and A l b e r t a became an o i l s u r p l u s r e g i o n ( H a n s e n , 1958, p. 7 2 ) . A l b e r t a c h a n g e d f r o m a p r e d o m i n a n t l y a g r a r i a n b a s e d economy t o an u f o a n s o c i e t y s t i m u l a t e d by t h e o i l and gas i n d u s t r y , and commenced a p e r i o d o f s u s t a i n e d g r o w t h t h a t l a s t e d f o r n e a r l y 35 y e a r s . The o i l and gas s e c t o r as t h e e n g i n e o f - 28 -g r o w t h , a t t r a c t e d a c o n t i n u a l i n f l u x o f new r e s i d e n t s t o C a l g a r y f r o m 1947-1981 ( T a b l e 1 ) . By 1951, C a l g a r y ' s p o p u l a t i o n had i n c r e a s e d 45 p e r c e n t o v e r t h e p r e v i o u s d e c a d e t o 129,000. Ten y e a r s l a t e r i n 1961, one q u a r t e r o f a m i l l i o n p e o p l e were r e s i d i n g i n C a l g a r y and i n 1981, t h e c i t y ' s p o p u l a t i o n was o v e r 590,000. The d e g r e e t o w h i c h C a l g a r y ' s phenomenal g r o w t h i s t i e d t o t h e p e t r o l e u m i n d u s t r y i s s u g g e s t e d by t h e p r e s e n c e i n 1965 o f t h e head o f f i c e s o f 886 o i l and o i l - r e l a t e d c o m p a n i e s , i n a d d i t i o n t o b r a n c h o f f i c e s o f a f u r t h e r 336 ( S m i t h , 1971, p. 4 ) . I n 1971, 74 p e r c e n t o f C a n a d a ' s o i l and g a s e x p l o r a t i o n , d e v e l o p m e n t and p r o d u c i n g c o m p a n i e s had t h e i r head o f f i c e s i n C a l g a r y , a l o n g w i t h 84 p e r c e n t o f t h e n a t i o n ' s g e o p h y s i c a l c o n t r a c t i n g c o m p a n i e s , 87 p e r c e n t o f t h e d a t a p r o c e s s i n g f i r m s r e l a t e d t o t h e o i l and gas i n d u s t r y , 68 p e r c e n t o f p e t r o l e u m r e l a t e d c o n s u l t i n g c o m p a n i e s , and 65 p e r c e n t o f t h e f i r m s engaged i n c o n t r a c t o i l w e l l d r i l l i n g ( B a i n e , 1973, p . 5 8 ) . The b e n e f i t o f b e i n g C a n a d a ' s p e t r o l e u m c a p i t a l s t i l l a c c r u e s t o C a l g a r y f o r e v e n t h o u g h , a p a r t f r o m t h e t a r s a n d s i n n o r t h e r n A l b e r t a , t h e p r i m a r y i n t e r e s t s o f w e s t e r n b a s e d o i l c o m p a n i e s , i n t h e p a s t f i v e y e a r s , have e x p a n d e d b e y o n d A l b e r t a t o t h e " f r o n t i e r " u n i o n s o f t h e c o u n t r y . The 1971 C e n s u s o f Canada r e v e a l e d t h a t C a l g a r y had one o f t h e s m a l l e s t m a n u f a c t u r i n g s e c t o r s o f any m a j o r C a n a d i a n - 29 -c i t y . I n s t e a d o f w o r k e r s i n C a l g a r y b e i n g d o m i n a t e d by a s s e m b l y - l i n e o c c u p a t i o n s , o v e r 10,000 C a l g a r i a n s were d i r e c t l y e m p l o y e d i n t h e o i l and gas i n d u s t r y ( a n d t h o u s a n d s more i n d i r e c t l y ) as compared t o 2,050 i n Edmonton and o n l y 60 i n W i n n i p e g ( C e n s u s o f C a n a d a , 1971, Volume 3, P a r t I V ) . The r a t i o o f m a n a g e r i a l t o u n s k i l l e d l a b o u r i n C a l g a r y was a p p r o x i m a t e l y 3:1. S i n c e t h e r e were so few f a c t o r i e s i n C a l g a r y , i t became v e r y much a " b r i e f - c a s e " r a t h e r t h a n " l u n c h - b o x " c i t y . W i t h t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h e o i l and gas i n d u s t r y on employment i n C a l g a r y , i n c o m e s r o s e r e l a t i v e l y h i g h ( C e n s u s o f C a n a d a , 1 9 8 1 ) , and newcomers t o t h e c i t y s o u g h t t o p u r c h a s e s i n g l e , d e t a c h e d homes. In o r d e r t o s a t i s f y t h e h o u s i n g n e e d s o f t h e newcomers t o C a l g a r y , c i t y c o u n c i l deemed i t n e c e s s a r y t o annex enormous p a r c e l s o f r u r a l l a n d t o t h e c i t y f o r d e v e l o p m e n t . 2.4 Establishment of the Sour Gas Industry A f t e r L e d u c , e x t r e m e i n t e r e s t i n l o c a t i n g a d d i t i o n a l o i l f i e l d s i n A l b e r t a , and t o some e x t e n t i n n o r t h e a s t e r n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , l e d t o i n c r e a s e d e x p l o r a t i o n and d r i l l i n g a c t i v i t y . As a r e s u l t , more and more s o u r g a s r e s e r v e s were f o u n d t o t h e e x t e n t where d i s c o v e r y , p r o d u c t i o n , t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , and p r o c e s s i n g o f s o u r gas t u r n e d int<i> an i n d u s t r y i t s e l f . S o u r gas p r o c e s s i n g a c c e l e r a t e d a f t e r 1951 when S h e l l ' s - 30 -J u m p i n g Pound p l a n t , a p p r o x i m a t e l y 50 k i l o m e t r e s west o f C a l g a r y , became t h e f i r s t s o u r g a s p l a n t i n A l b e r t a t o e x t r a c t s u l p h u r f r o m t h e raw h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e g a s . P r e v i o u s g a s p l a n t s had s i m p l y b u r n e d o f f t h e s o u r component t o t h e a t m o s p h e r e . The h i g h e s t c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f s o u r gas p o o l s were f o u n d t o l i e west o f t h e 5 t h m e r i d i a n i n an 80 k i l o m e t r e wide s t r e t c h o f f o o t h i l l s , r u n n i n g t h e l e n g t h o f t h e p r o v i n c e j u s t e a s t o f t h e Rocky M o u n t a i n s (Map 4 ) . By 1974, t h e r e were o v e r 100 s o u r o i l and gas f i e l d s i n A l b e r t a ( A l b e r t a I n d u s t r y - G o v e r n m e n t C o m m i t t e e on  G u i d e l i n e s f o r U r b a n D e v e l o p m e n t i n R e l a t i o n t o  t h e S o u r Gas I n d u s t r y , O c t o b e r , 1974; h e r e a f t e r r e f e r r e d t o a s A I G S G I ) . In t h e e a r l y 1 9 7 0 s , gas was deemed t o be u n d e r p r i c e d i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e v a l u e p l a c e d on c r u d e o i l , r e s u l t i n g i n l e g i s l a t i o n c h a n g i n g t h e p r i c e o f n a t u r a l g a s i n s u b s e q u e n t y e a r s f r o m 16 c e n t s p e r t h o u s a n d c u b i c m e t r e s t o o v e r 3 d o l l a r s t o d a y ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , November 2, 1985, p. A 1 4 ) . P r o d u c t i o n c o s t s i n c r e a s e d h a l f as much, l e a v i n g p o t e n t i a l f o r p r o f i t s t h a t t r i g g e r e d an o u t b u r s t o f g a s d r i l l i n g and p r o v i d e d much o f t h e f u e l f o r A l b e r t a ' s 1970s e n e r g y boom. By 1976, t h e r e were o v e r 3,700 p r o d u c i n g s o u r g a s w e l l s i n A l b e r t a (ERCB D e c i s i o n D 7 6 - 1 5 ) . The gas i n d u s t r y c o n t i n u e d t o e x p a n d so much t h a t t o d a y t h e r e a r e a p p r o x i m a t e l y 600 g a s p r o d u c i n g c o m p a n i e s i n A l b e r t a ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , November 2, 1985, p. A 1 4 ) . - 31 -The gas i n d u s t r y has had s p e c i a l p r o b l e m s w i t h s o u r n a t u r a l g a s , as t h e t e c h n o l o g y o f e x p l o r a t i o n , d e v e l o p m e n t and p r o c e s s i n g had t o be a l m o s t e n t i r e l y d e v e l o p e d i n A l b e r t a , t h e r e b e i n g nowhere e l s e i n t h e w o r l d where s u c h l a r g e q u a n t i t i e s o f s o u r gas were b e i n g u s e d . Today, d r i l l i n g s o u r gas w e l l s has become a r e l a t i v e l y r o u t i n e o p e r a t i o n i n A l b e r t a b e c a u s e o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e and t e c h n o l o g i c a l a d v a n c e s a c c u m u l a t e d s i n c e t h e e a r l y d e c a d e s o f t h e c e n t u r y b u t t h e p r o c e s s r e m a i n s a h a z a r d o u s one due t o t h e t o x i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e s o u r gas and t h e c o m p l e x i n t e r a c t i o n s among m e c h a n i c a l d r i l l i n g c o m p o n e n t s , g e o s t a t i c f o r m a t i o n p r e s s u r e s and t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r human e r r o r . A t u r n i n g p o i n t f o r t h e s o u r gas i n d u s t r y o c c u r r e d i n 1973 when a s o u r o i l b l o w o u t n e a r New Norway, A l b e r t a , ( s o u t h e a s t o f E d m o n t o n ) , f o r c e d t h e e v a c u a t i o n o f t h e town's r e s i d e n t s ( A I G S G I, O c t o b e r , 1 9 7 4 ) . A l t h o u g h no r e s i d e n t s were s e r i o u s l y i n j u r e d , t h e i n c i d e n t i n s t i g a t e d a c o n c e r n o v e r t h e l a c k o f p o l i c i e s and r e g u l a t i o n s t o a d e q u a t e l y c o n t r o l t h e e n c r o a c h m e n t o f p o p u l a t i o n c e n t r e s on t o s o u r gas o p e r a t i o n s . The p u b l i c i n A l b e r t a was b e c o m i n g i n c r e a s i n g l y aware and s e n s i t i z e d t o t h e p o t e n t i a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y i m p a c t s o f t h e s o u r gas i n d u s t r y when i n d u s t r i a l a c c i d e n t s l i k e New Norway r e s u l t e d i n t h e u n c o n t r o l l e d r e l e a s e o f t o x i c h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e . S o u r gas w e l l s c o n t i n u e d t o be d r i l l e d however, and - 32 -s o u r gas p l a n t s c o n t i n u e d t o be b u i l t . When a p a r t i c u l a r s o u r g a s w e l l c r e a t e d a p u b l i c c o n t r o v e r s y n e a r a p o p u l a t e d a r e a , t h e w e l l e i t h e r had more s t r i c t d r i l l i n g r e g u l a t i o n s p l a c e d upon i t o r a s h o r t e r p r o d u c i n g p e r i o d a s s i g n e d by t h e ERCB. On o n l y two o c c a s i o n s was a s o u r gas p r o p o s a l c o m p l e t e l y d e n i e d by t h e ERCB; one i n v o l v i n g a w e l l n e a r a Boy S c o u t Camp and t h e o t h e r , a p i p e l i n e t h r o u g h an e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y s e n s i t i v e a r e a ( p e r s o n a l r e v i e w o f ERCB D e c i s i o n r e p o r t s ) . W h i l e New Norway i n f o r m e d some r e s i d e n t s i n A l b e r t a a b o u t s o u r g a s , an u n c o n t r o l l e d r e l e a s e o f s o u r gas n e a r L o d g e p o l e , i n t h e w e s t - c e n t r a l p a r t o f t h e p r o v i n c e , i n t h e autumn o f 1982, i n c e n s e d t h e p u b l i c o f A l b e r t a a b o u t t h e p r a c t i c a l i t y o f d r i l l i n g s u c h p o t e n t i a l l y d a n g e r o u s w e l l s n e a r an u r b a n a r e a ( L o d g e p o l e B l o w o u t I n q u i r y , P h a s e 1  R e p o r t , E n e r g y R e s o u r c e s C o n s e r v a t i o n B o a r d , December, 1984, p. 1 - 1 ) . I n s p i t e o f numerous m e a s u r e s t o r e g a i n c o n t r o l , t h e s o u r g a s b l o w o u t p e r s i s t e d f o r 67 d a y s b e f o r e t h e w e l l was f i n a l l y " c a p p e d " on December 23, 1982. L i k e New Norway, t h e r e were no p u b l i c f a t a l i t i e s a t L o d g e p o l e , b u t two w e l l c o n t r o l s p e c i a l i s t s f r o m T e x a s d i e d a f t e r b e i n g e x p o s e d t o t h e l e t h a l g a s . The b l o w o u t has had a o v e r w h e l m i n g i m p a c t on t h e p u b l i c ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f s o u r g a . _nd t h e manner i n w h i c h w e l l s a r e p r e s e n t l y d r i l l e d i n A l b e r t a . A d d i n g f u e l t o f i r e , a s o u r gas b l o w o u t a t a p r o d u c i n g - 33 -w e l l n e a r t h e town o f C l a r e s h o l m , a p p r o x i m a t e l y 150 k i l o m e t r e s s o u t h o f C a l g a r y i n S e p t e m b e r , 1984, f u r t h e r t a r n i s h e d t h e image o f s o u r g a s . Thus t h e s a f e t y o f CanOxy's c u r r e n t p r o p o s a l has become a m a j o r i s s u e i n l i g h t o f r e c e n t a c c i d e n t s i n t h e s o u r gas i n d u s t r y . 2.5 Rapid Urban Growth 1950 - 1974 U r b a n g r o w t h i n C a l g a r y assumed i t s a c c e l e r a t e d p a c e i n t h e 1950s. T h i s l e d t o t h e h i r i n g o f t h e f i r s t p e r m a n e n t p l a n n e r i n t h e c i t y i n 1951 ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , F e b r u a r y 3, 1983, p. A 8 ) . I n 1950, a s e r i e s o f amendments were made t o t h e Town P l a n n i n g A c t ( M u r c h i e , 1978, p . 2 ) . P r o v i s - i o n was made f o r t h e f o r m a t i o n o f D i s t r i c t P l a n n i n g C o m m i s s i o n s t o o v e r s e e t h e p r o c e s s o f u r b a n i z a t i o n and r e g i o n a l g r o w t h i n an a r e a l i k e C a l g a r y . T h e s e b o d i e s were g i v e n t h e mandate t o p r e p a r e a d i s t r i c t p l a n g o v e r n i n g l a n d use f o r t h e e n t i r e a r e a , b u t l a c k e d p o l i t i c a l power and t o d a y r e m a i n i n an a d v i s o r y and i n t e r m e d i a r y r o l e b e t w e e n t h e u r b a n m u n i c i p a l i t i e s and t h e p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t . In 1956, t h e p r o b l e m s o f r a p i d m u n i c i p a l g r o w t h i n A l b e r t a were s e e n as so e x t r e m e t h a t a R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n on t h e M e t r o p o l i t a n D e v e l o p m e n t o f C a l g a r y a n d Edmonton was f o r m e d . One o f t h e most s e r i o u s c o n s e q u e n c e s o f t h e p o s t - w a r p o p u l a t i o n i n c r e a s e s was t h e t r e m e n d o u s i n c r e a s e i n - 34 -b o t h C a l g a r y and Edmonton's d e b t as t h e c i t i e s were o b l i g e d t o p r o v i d e e x p e n d i t u r e s on u t i l i t i e s , s c h o o l s and o t h e r s e r v i c e s . I n c r e a s e d m u n i c i p a l d e b t meant l a r g e amounts o f p r o v i n c i a l a i d . A n o t h e r p r o b l e m a d d r e s s e d by t h e C o m m i s s i o n was r a p i d p o p u l a t i o n i n c r e a s e s o c c u r r i n g i n t h e f r i n g e c o m m u n i t i e s o u t s i d e t h e c i t i e s . ( R e p o r t o f t h e R o y a l  C o m m i s s i o n on t h e M e t r o p o l i t a n D e v e l o p m e n t o f C a l g a r y and  Edmonton, Edmonton, A l b e r t a , 1956, p . 1 - 5 ) . The R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n s u b s e q u e n t l y made o v e r 80 r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s t o d e a l w i t h A l b e r t a ' s g r o w t h p r o b l e m s . One m a j o r r e c o m m e n d a t i o n was t h a t a l l u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t w h i c h f o r m s one s o c i a l and e c o n o m i c u n i t s h o u l d come u n d e r one j u r i s d i c t i o n . U s i n g a n n e x a t i o n o f r u r a l l a n d as a p l a n n i n g t o o l , t h e r e c o m m e n d a t i o n known as t h e " u n i - c i t y c o n c e p t " ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , F e b r u a r y 3, 1983, p. A 8 ) , s o u g h t t o p r e v e n t t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f f u t u r e s a t e l l i t e o r f r i n g e c o m m u n i t i e s o u t s i d e an u r b a n a r e a l i k e C a l g a r y , t h e r e b y r e d u c i n g t h e number o f l o c a l g o v e r n m e n t s and t h e c o n f u s i o n t h a t c a n r e s u l t t h e r e o f . The b a s i s f o r t h e c o n c e p t was g l e a n e d f r o m e x p e r i e n c e i n u r b a n e x p a n s i o n i n c i t i e s l i k e T o r o n t o . In 1911, T o r o n t o had f r o z e n i t s m u n i c i p a l b o u n d a r i e s , f o r c i n g a d d i t i o n a l r e s i d e n t s i n t o n ewly d e v e l o p e d c o m m u n i t i e s j u s t o u t s i d e i t s p e r i m e t e r . The s a t e l l i t e c o m m u n i t i e s became so numerous and l a r g e t h a t t h e O n t a r i o g o v e r n m e n t was e v e n t u a l l y f o r c e d t o d e v i s e a m e t r o p o l i t a n g o v e r n m e n t t o - 35 -s o r t o u t o v e r l a p p i n g j u r i s d i c t i o n s and s e r v i c e s ( e d i t o r i a l s i n E a s t Y o r k and L e a s i d e A d v e r t i s e r , November 16, 1 9 6 7 ) . S e e k i n g t o a v o i d t h e m u l t i p l i c a t i o n o f l o c a l g o v e r n m e n t s and t h e i r s t r a i n on t h e p r o v i n c i a l c o f f e r , a n n e x a t i o n s o f r u r a l l a n d i n C a l g a r y i n 1956 and 1961, p r o v i d e d enough u r b a n s p a c e f o r s u b d i v i s i o n d e v e l o p m e n t t o s a t i s f y t h e h o u s i n g needs o f t h e new r e s i d e n t s o f C a l g a r y u n t i l t h e mid 1 9 7 0 s . Growth i n t h e a n n e x e d p o r t i o n s o f t h e c i t y , r e f e r r e d t o as o u t e r s u b u r b s , b e t w e e n 1964 and 1973 a c c o m o d a t e d a p p r o x i m a t e l y 120,000 p e o p l e ( r e f e r t o T a b l e 2 and A p p e n d i x 3 ) . In t h e same p e r i o d , g r o w t h i n t h e r e m a i n d e r o f t h e c i t y e x p e r i e n c e d o n l y a 2,800 p o p u l a t i o n i n c r e a s e . The s u b s t a n t i a l a d d i t i o n o f l a n d t o t h e n o r t h e a s t p o r t i o n o f C a l g a r y i n t h e 1961 a n n e x a t i o n , e s t a b l i s h e d t h e m a j o r i t y o f t h e e x i s t i n g l a n d f o u n d i n t h i s s e c t o r o f t h e c i t y t o d a y . The a n n e x a t i o n o c c u r r e d when s o u r gas r e s e r v e s were b e g i n n i n g t o be d e v e l o p e d i n t h e a r e a a d j a c e n t t o n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y ( C r o s s f i e l d Wabamum A P o o l D e v e l o p m e n t  P l a n , C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l P e t r o l e u m L t d . , A p r i l , 1984, p . 8 ) . As s o u r gas d e v e l o p m e n t i n t h e a r e a c o n t i n u e d , t h e a n n e x e d l a n d was s i m u l t a n e o u s l y d e v e l o p e d f o r r e s i d e n t i a l s u b d i v i s i o n s . F o r m a t i o n of. L a n d Use C o n f l i c t The l a n d u s e c o n f l i c t between s o u r g a s d e v e l o p m e n t and - 36 -urban development i n n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y d i d not become immediately apparent, but evolved over time. However because there was no communication or c o o r d i n a t i o n between the two types of development, a c o n f l i c t was i n e v i t a b l e . For example, i n the mid-1970s when an o i l company planned a sour gas w e l l o u t s i d e n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y , c o n s i d e r a t i o n of p o s s i b l e f u t u r e r e s i d e n t i a l development w i t h i n the a d j a c e n t p a r t of the c i t y was not r e q u i r e d , nor was c o n s u l t a t i o n with the m u n i c i p a l i t y about the w e l l p r o p o s a l . S i m i l a r i l y , the r o u t e of gas p i p e l i n e s i n the p r o v i n c e were chosen, not with p u b l i c s a f e t y as the d e t e r m i n i n g c r i t e r i a but, f o r reasons of economics and ease of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n reasons. (Canadian  I n s t i t u t e of P l a n n e r s Forum, No. 6, November, 1984, p. 8 ) . Perhaps a more i n f l u e n t i a l f a c t o r i n the e v e n t u a l c o n t r o v e r s y between urban and r e s o u r c e development was the manner i n which C a l g a r y grew and expanded. C a l g a r y ' s seemingly i n s a t i a b l e hunger f o r s p a t i a l enlargement of i t s m u n i c i p a l boundaries i n the n o r t h e a s t p o r t i o n of the c i t y , brought urban land c l o s e r and c l o s e r to the sour gas o p e r a t i o n s . The a p p e t i t e was not s a t i s f i e d with the massive 1961 annexation. S i x subsequent annexations, a l t h o u g h not as g e o g r a p h i c a l l y as l a r g e , were added to the n o r t h e a s t p a r t of the c i t y between 1976 and 1983 ( r e f e r to Map 2 ) . Each annexation, and r e s i d e n t i a l development t h e r e i n , i n c r e a s e d - 37 -t h e r i s k t o s u b d i v i s i o n r e s i d e n t s o f a l e t h a l e x p o s u r e o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e as a r e s u l t o f an a c c i d e n t a t any o f t h e numerous s o u r gas f a c i l i t i e s o p e r a t i n g i n t h e a r e a . The P l a n n i n g A c t (1977) and i t s S u b d i v i s i o n R e g u l a t i o n s a r e t h e main l e g i s l a t i v e t o o l s f o r d e a l i n g w i t h t h e use o f l a n d and i t s d e v e l o p m e n t i n A l b e r t a (A S t u d y o f L a n d Use and  S o u r Gas, O k o t o k s - H i g h R i v e r , A l b e r t a , F e b r u a r y , 1983. p. 1 9 ) . The P l a n n i n g A c t e n a b l e s t h e p r e p a r a t i o n o f R e g i o n a l and G e n e r a l P l a n s , L a n d Use B y l a w s , A r e a S t r u c t u r e P l a n s , e t c . , a l l o f w h i c h i n f l u e n c e t h e f o r m and e x t e n t o f u r b a n i z a t i o n . In t e r m s o f t h e o i l and gas i n d u s t r y however, t h e P l a n n i n g A c t exempts w e l l s , b a t t e r i e s and p i p e l i n e s f r o m t h e s u b d i v i s i o n a p p r o v a l p r o c e s s and t h e d e v e l o p m e n t p e r m i t ' p r o c e s s ( A l b e r t a P l a n n i n g A c t , 1977, A p p l i c a t i o n and A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , p a r a g r a p h 3 ( b ) , ( c ) ) . E n e r g y and r e s o u r c e d e v e l o p m e n t f a l l u n d e r t h e j u r i s d i c t i o n o f t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f E n e r g y and N a t u r a l R e s o u r c e s , w i t h r e g u l a t o r y p owers b e i n g v e s t e d i n t h e E n e r g y R e s o u r c e s C o n s e r v a t i o n B o a r d . The ERCB works i n c l o s e c o - o p e r a t i o n w i t h A l b e r t a E n v i r o n m e n t i n t e r m s o f p e r f o r m a n c e and s a f e t y s t a n d a r d s . P u r s u a n t t o t h e S u b d i v i s i o n R e g u l a t i o n s o f t h e P l a n n i n g A c t , t h e ERCB makes r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s t o t h e a p p r o p r i a t e S u b d i v i s i o n A p p r o v i n g A u t h o r i t y ( i . e . , C i t y o f C a l g a r y ) r e s p e c t i n g any p r o p o s e d u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t s n e a r s o u r gas f a c i l i t i e s . The C i t y i s - 38 -n o t however bound t o f o l l o w ERCB r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s . The ERCB, a c c o r d i n g t o a d i r e c t i v e r e v i s e d i n 1981, e s t a b l i s h e s s a f e s e t b a c k d i s t a n c e s b etween s o u r gas f a c i l i t i e s and u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t i n p a r t i c u l a r c a t e g o r i e s , a c c o r d i n g t o t h e p o t e n t i a l r e l e a s e r a t e , v o l u m e , and H2S c o n t e n t i n t h e gas e m i t t e d f r o m a f a c i l i t y , and t h e p r o x i m i t y o r u r b a n r e s i d e n t s t o t h e w e l l o r p i p e l i n e ( A p p e n d i x 4 ) . The l a c k o f an e f f e c t i v e p o l i c y , o r c o o r d i n a t i o n by one g o v e r n m e n t a g e n c y , t o d i r e c t t h e g r o w t h p a t t e r n s o f t h e l a n d d e v e l o p m e n t i n d u s t r y and t h e s o u r g a s i n d u s t r y p e r m i t t e d t h e s e r i o u s l a n d u s e c o n f l i c t t o o c c u r . Even t h o u g h o i l c o m p a n i e s , l i k e C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l , c o n s i s t e n t l y o p p o s e d u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t s and a n n e x a t i o n p r o p o s a l s i n and a r o u n d C a l g a r y ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J a n u a r y 12, 1985, p. A 1 0 ) , t h e s o u r ga s r e s e r v e s were i n c r e a s i n g l y e n c r o a c h e d upon. The f o l l o w i n g a c c o u n t w i l l d e s c r i b e how C a l g a r y p l a n n i n g a u t h o r i t i e s n e g l e c t e d t h e s o u r g a s i s s u e . P l a n n i n g P o l i c i e s C a l g a r y C i t y C o u n c i l a d o p t e d i t s f i r s t g e n e r a l p l a n i n 1963. The p l a n was e s s e n t i a l l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h p r o j e c t i n g t h e t h e n c u r r e n t t r e n d s o f C a l g a r y ' s g r o w t h t o 1980, and w i t h .sk'3t-.ohing a s c e n a r i o f o r t h e c i t y a t t h a t d a t e . In 1970, C o u n c i l a p p r o v e d a s e c o n d g e n e r a l p l a n , and i t i n t u r n was r e v i s e d i n 1973. The r o l e o f C a l g a r y ' s g e n e r a l p l a n was - 39 -e x p r e s s e d i n t h e 1973 r e p o r t a s : The need f o r a g e n e r a l p l a n , o r s t r a t e g i c p l a n , a r i s e s f o r a number o f r e a s o n s . Amongst them i s t h e f u n d m e n t a l b e l i e f t h a t a community s h o u l d s e e k t o c o n t r o l i t s own f a t e , r a t h e r t h a n s i m p l y a l l o w i n g t h i n g s t o happen t o i t . T h i s l e a d s t o t h e v i e w t h a t d e v e l o p m e n t , i f i t i s t o o c c u r a t a l l , s h o u l d t a k e p l a c e i n a c o o r d i n a t e d and r a t i o n a l f a s h i o n , and t h a t i t s h o u l d r e s p e c t t h e a i m s and a s p i r a t i o n s o f t h e community a t l a r g e . ( T h e C a l g a r y P l a n , 1973, p.2) I t soom became e v i d e n t i n t h e g r o w t h o f C a l g a r y t h a t s u c h a s s e r t i o n s were n o t a d h e r e d t o . B e c a u s e s u b d i v i s i o n p o s s i b i l i t i e s make l a n d w i t h i n an u r b a n a r e a c o n s i d e r a b l y more v a l u a b l e t h a n l a n d o u t s i d e m u n i c i p a l b o u n d a r i e s , l a n d d e v e l o p m e n t c o m p a n i e s were f r e q u e n t l y p r o p o s i n g a n n e x a t i o n s t o t h e c i t y . A l a n d d e v e l o p e r w o u l d p u r c h a s e r u r a l l a n d and a t t e m p t t o c o n v i n c e t h e C i t y o f C a l g a r y how b e n e f i c i a l a n n e x a t i o n o f t h e l a n d w o u l d be t o t h e m u n i c i p a l i t y . I f p e r s u a d e d , c i t y c o u n c i l w o u l d , i n t u r n , a p p l y t o t h e L o c a l A u t h o r i t i e s B o a r d (LAB) f o r a n n e x a t i o n a p p r o v a l . LAB was c r e a t e d i n 1956 i n r e s p o n s e t o t h e u n i - c i t y c o n c e p t . A p p r o v a l a t a LAB h e a r i n g w o u l d u s u a l l y r e s u l t i n a r u b b e r - s t a m p i n g by t h e p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t . Once a n n e x a t i o n was a p p r o v e d , d e v e l o p m e n t c o n t r o l and r e g u l a t i o n w o u l d r e v e r t b a c k t o m u n i c i p a l a u t h o r i t i e s ( P l a n n i n g i n A l b e r t a , 1978, p. 3 - 7 ) . P a r t o f t h e p r o b l e m t h a t was c r e a t e d f r o m a n n e x i n g l a n d - 40 -and b u i l d i n g new r e s i d e n t i a l s u b d i v i s i o n s was t h e b e l i e f t h a t t h e c o r r e c t e c o n o m i c c o n d i t i o n s would c o n t i n u e t o p e r m i t C a l g a r y ' s u n p r e c e d e n t e d g r o w t h . The manner i n w h i c h d e c i s i o n s were made on t h e u s e o f l a n d r e s t e d p r i m a r i l y w i t h t h e l a n d d e v e l o p e r s t h e m s e l v e s who were t h e i n i t i a t o r s o f t h e a n n e x a t i o n p r o p o s a l s . . I t r e a c h e d a p o i n t where p r a c t i c a l l y w h a t e v e r was p r o p o s e d by l a n d d e v e l o p m e n t c o m p a n i e s w o u l d be a p p r o v e d by C a l g a r y c i t y c o u n c i l . By 1976, t h o u g h r e m a i n i n g a d v o c a t e s o f t h e u n i - c i t y c o n c e p t , t h e p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t w i s h e d t o d i v e r s i f y A l b e r t a ' s i n c r e a s i n g p o p u l a t i o n b a s e away f r o m -the m a j o r r e c i p i e n t s o f t h e new r e s i d e n t s , C a l g a r y and Edmonton, t o s m a l l e r u r b a n c e n t r e s l i k e Red D e e r and L e t h b r i d g e . To a c c o m p l i s h t h i s o b j e c t i v e , t h e p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t e s t a b l i s h e d an e i g h t - k i l o m e t r e wide R e s t r i c t e d D e v e l o p m e n t A r e a a r o u n d C a l g a r y ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J u l y 21, 1984, p . A 1 4 ) . L a n d o w n e r s i n t h e r e s t r i c t e d a r e a had t o o b t a i n d i r e c t a p p r o v a l o f t h e p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t f o r any p r o p o s e d d e v e l o p m e n t s . I m p l i c i t l y , e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f t h e r e s t r i c t e d a r e a i n d i c a t e d t h e p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t had l o s t c o n f i d e n c e i n t h e r e g i o n a l p l a n and t h e a b i l i t y o f l o c a l g o v e r n m e n t s t o c o o p e r a t e i n p l a n n i n g f o r l a n d use a r e a s i n t h e r e g i o n . F u t u r e a n n e x a t i o n s were s c r u t i n i z e d much c l o s e r by t h e p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t , b u t t h e y c o n t i n u e d t o o c c u r . A b s e n t i n any o f t h e p l a n n i n g d ocuments up t o and - 41 -i n c l u d i n g t h e 1973 C a l g a r y P l a n was any e x p l i c i t m e n t i o n o f s o u r g a s , e v e n t h o u g h e x p l o i t a t i o n o f s o u r g a s r e s e r v e s n o r t h and e a s t o f t h e c i t y had been o c c u r r i n g s i n c e 1961. As u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t p r o c e e d e d i n n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y c o m m u n i t i e s (Map 5 ) , an a s s u m p t i o n p r e v a i l e d t h a t s i n c e n a t u r a l g a s i s a n o n - r e n e w a b l e r e s o u r c e , i t would have a r e l a t i v e l y s h o r t d e p l e t i o n span ( i . e . , 15 t o 30 y e a r s ) . C o n s e q u e n t l y , i t was assumed t h a t when u r b a n g r o w t h r e a c h e d t h e a r e a o f s o u r gas a c t i v i t y , t h e p e t r o l e u m o p e r a t o r s would be a t a s t a g e o f w i n d i n g down o p e r a t i o n s . T h i s a t t i t u d e i s r e f l e c t e d i n t h e C a l g a r y R e g i o n a l G r o w t h S t u d y ( C a l g a r y R e g i o n a l P l a n n i n g C o m m i s s i o n , 1977, C h a p t e r 1, p . 5 ) . M u n i c i p a l p l a n n e r s and o f f i c i a l s were i n e f f e c t p e r m i t t i n g t h e ERCB and t h e s o u r gas i n d u s t r y t o c o n t r o l t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f s o u r gas r e s e r v e s , w i t h o u t i n s i s t i n g on m u n i c i p a l i n p u t . I n o t h e r words, t h e r e was no c o m m u n i c a t i o n b e t w e e n t h o s e s e p a r a t e l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t and r e s o u r c e d e v e l o p m e n t . E v e n t u a l l y t h e l a c k o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n between t h e two e n t i t i e s and t h e l a c k o f one p o l i c y t o d e a l w i t h b o t h t y p e s o f d e v e l o p m e n t , c a u s e d t h e s e r i o u s l a n d u s e c o n f l i c t t o m a t e r i a l i z e . I t wasn't u n t i l t h e 1977 C a l g a r y P l a n t h a t any e x p l i c i t m e n t i o n was made o f t h e s o u r gas r e s e r v e s l y i n g o u t s i d e , and i n one p a r t i c u l a r s u b d i v i s i o n i n t h e n o r t h e a s t p o r t i o n o f t h e c i t y , w i t h i n m u n i c i p a l b o u n d a r i e s . I n c o n t r a s t t o t h e - 42 -a t t i t u d e t a k e n by t h e 1974 AIGSGI R e p o r t o f u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t e n c r o a c h i n g upon s o u r g a s f a c i l i t i e s , t h e C a l g a r y P l a n saw t h e h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e n a t u r a l gas w e l l s as r e s p o n s i b l e f o r h i n d e r i n g u r b a n e x p a n s i o n . The p o l i c y r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s t a t e d , " e n c o u r a g e t h e e a r l y r e l o c a t i o n o f s o u r g a s e x t r a c t i o n f a c i l i t i e s i n and n e a r t h e c i t y " ( T h e  C a l g a r y P l a n , 1977, P a r t 3, C h a p t e r 5 ) . The manner i n w h i c h t h i s was t o be a c c o m p l i s h e d was s u g g e s t e d t h u s : The b e s t way t o e l i m i n a t e t h e p r o b l e m o f a p o t e n t i a l l e a k f r o m a s o u r gas w e l l i s t o move t h e w e l l t o a more s u i t a b l e l o c a t i o n , o r , r a t h e r t o c a p t h e w e l l and d r i l l a n o t h e r e l s e w h e r e . ( C a l g a r y P l a n , 1977, 3.5.11) However, s u c h a p o l i c y was n o t a l w a y s e c o n o m i c a l l y s e n s i b l e and n o t a l w a y s p o s s i b l e f r o m an e n g i n e e r i n g p o i n t o f v i e w . The s o u r g a s p r o b l e m was n o t r e a l l y b e i n g a d d r e s s e d by c i t y a u t h o r i t i e s b u t r a t h e r an a t t e m p t was b e i n g made t o work a r o u n d t h e i s s u e and s t i l l a l l o w u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t t o o c c u r . G r o w t h E x p l o s i o n As i n o t h e r c i t y q u a d r a n t s , u r b a n e x p a n s i o n i n n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y moved p r o g r e s s i v e l y o u t w a r d s f r o m t h e e a r l i e r e s t a b l i s h e d a r e a s and c o m m u n i t i e s . T h i s e x p a n s i o n was p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e n s e f r o m 1974 o n w a r d s . The C e n s u s o f Ca n a d a (1981) r e v e a l s a 100 p e r c e n t p o p u l a t i o n c h a n g e f o r most o f n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y f r o m 1976 t o 1981. A c c e l e r a t i o n - 43 -was e n c o u r a g e d by t h e i n c i d e n c e o f m a j o r o i l and gas r e l a t e d p r o j e c t s w i t h i n t h e p r o v i n c e and by t h e p o t e n t i a l o f n o r t h e r n r e s o u r c e s . In a d d i t i o n , h i g h l e v e l s o f unemployment i n t h e M a r i t i m e p r o v i n c e s t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e u n c e r t a i n t i e s o f p o l i t i c a l l y i m p o s e d p r o b l e m s i n Quebec, p r e c i p i t a t e d a p o p u l a t i o n e x p l o s i o n i n w h i c h t h e i n f l u x o f p e o p l e i n t o C a l g a r y e x c e e d e d some 3,000 p e r month a t i t s p e a k ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J a n u a r y 12, 1978, p. B 2 ) . S i g n i f i c a n t l a n d a c q u i s i t i o n s a t low r u r a l p r i c e s by l a n d d e v e l o p e r s f a c i l i t a t e d t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f new r e s i d e n t i a l c o m m u n i t i e s i n t h e n o r t h e a s t p a r t o f t h e c i t y a t a p a c e r e f l e c t e d by a c i t y - c o r e e x p a n s i o n o f a s t o u n d i n g m a g n i t u d e . Of t h e 160,347 h o u s i n g u n i t s e x i s t i n g i n C a l g a r y i n May, 1975, 56 p e r c e n t were s i n g l e f a m i l y d w e l l i n g s ( H o u s i n g i n C a l g a r y , 1976, p. 2 ) . Of t h e 5,650 h o u s i n g u n i t s b u i l t i n 1975, 78 p e r c e n t were s i n g l e f a m i l y homes. C o n s t r u c t i o n a c t i v i t y was o b v i o u s l y c o n c e n t r a t i n g on t h e s i n g l e d e t a c h e d home w h i c h r e q u i r e d much more l a n d t h a n a h i g h e r d e n s i t y f o r m o f h o u s i n g l i k e a p p a r t m e n t s . The b u i l d i n g boom p r e c i p i t a t e d a r a p i d e s c a l a t i o n i n l a n d c o s t s , h o u s i n g p r i c e s , and i n c o m m e r c i a l r e n t a l r a t e s . By 1978 C a l g a r y had become t h e f i r s t m u n i c i p a l j u r i s d i c t i o n i n C a n a d a t o e x c e e d t h e $1 b i l l i o n t o t a l i n i s s u i n g b u i l d i n g p e r m i t s ( T o r o n t o G l o b e and M a i l , A p r i l 20, 1981, p. B 2 8 ) . In c o n t r a s t , b u i l d i n g p e r m i t s f o r 1984 i n C a l g a r y t o t a l l e d - 44 -o n l y $380 m i l l i o n ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , A u g u s t 10, 1985, p. B 3 ) . In 1979 t h e r e were 12,000 h o u s i n g u n i t s b u i l t i n C a l g a r y ( T o r o n t o G l o b e and M a i l , A p r i l 20, 1981, p. B 2 8 ) . The 1977 C a l g a r y P l a n r e f l e c t e d t h e a t t i t u d e t h a t was a c c o m p a n y i n g C a l g a r y ' s a c c e l e r a t i n g g r o w t h : G r o w t h , r a p i d g r o w t h , has i n r e c e n t y e a r s come t o be s e e n as a b a s i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c and c o n d i t i o n o f C a l g a r y . I n d e e d , i t i s s o m e t h i n g o f a c l i c h e t o p o i n t o u t t h a t C a l g a r y i s one o f t h e f a s t e s t g r o w i n g o f C a n a d a ' s l a r g e and m e d i u m - s i z e d c i t i e s . Y e t t h e f a c t s a r e i n d i s p u t a b l e and i m p r e s s i v e . The p r e l i m i n a r y r e s u l t s o f t h e 1976 C e n s u s o f Canada i n d i c a t e t h a t o v e r t h e p a s t d e c a d e C a l g a r y has e x p e r i e n c e d a h i g h e r r a t e o f p o p u l a t i o n i n c r e a s e (38.5 p e r c e n t ) t h a n any o t h e r m a j o r u r b a n c e n t r e b u t K i t c h e n e r (40.3 p e r c e n t ) . T h i s i s t r u e w h e t h e r i t i s t h e c i t i e s p r o p e r o r t h e t o t a l m e t r o p o l i t a n a r e a s . I f p o p u l a t i o n  w i t h i n t h e m u n i c i p a l b o u n d a r y i s t h e c r i t e r i o n ,  t h e n C a l g a r y i s now t h e t h i r d l a r g e s t c i t y i n t h e  c o u n t r y . O n l y M o n t r e a l and T o r o n t o a r e l a r g e r . The P l a n c o n t i n u e s e m p h a s i z i n g f u t u r e t r e n d s : P o p u l a t i o n p r o j e c t i o n s , b a s e d on p a s t t r e n d s , f u r t h e r s u g g e s t t h a t t h e c i t y may w e l l accommodate t h r e e - q u a r t e r s o f a m i l l i o n p e o p l e by 1996. The b e n e f i t s o f s u c h r a p i d g r o w t h have l o n g b e en r e c o g n i z e d , and a p p r e c i a t e d , and t h e y a r e t h e s o u r c e o f much c i v i c p r i d e . As t h e c i t y becomes l a r g e r , i t becomes more s o p h i s t i c a t e d and b e t t e r endowed, and i t s p e o p l e more c o s m o p o l i t a n . G r o w t h p e r m i t s t h e c r o s s i n g o f t h r e s h o l d s , w i t h t h e r e s u l t t h a t many f a c i l i t i e s and s e r v i c e s become v i a b l e t h a t a r e d e n i e d t o s m a l l e r u r b a n c e n t r e s . The f a s t e r t h e r a t e o f  g r o w t h , t h e s o o n e r t h o s e t h r e s h o l d s a r e c r o s s e d . ( C a l g a r y P l a n , 1977, P a r t 1, C h a p t e r 1; u n d e r l i n e d s t a t e m e n t s a r e my e m p h a s i s ) - 45 -T h e s e comments r e v e a l a p e r c e p t i o n t h a t r a p i d u r b a n g r o w t h b r i n g s o t h e r w i s e u n a t t a i n a b l e b e n e f i t s t o C a l g a r y . i n 1978, t h e C i t y o f C a l g a r y e s t i m a t e d i t o n l y had a s i x y e a r s u p p l y o f r e s i d e n t i a l l a n d l e f t w i t h i n i t s m u n i c i p a l b o u n d a r i e s ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J a n u a r y 11, 1978, p. B l ) . T h e r e f o r e t o a c c o m o d a t e t h e i n c r e a s i n g number o f new r e s i d e n t s , t h e C i t y o f C a l g a r y a d o p t e d a B a l a n c e d G r o w t h S t r a t e g y i n 1978 w h i c h i n e f f e c t s t a t e d t h e c i t y s h o u l d s t r i v e t o m a i n t a i n a t h i r t y y e a r s u p p l y o f l a n d f o r f u t u r e d e v e l o p m e n t p u r p o s e s ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J a n u a r y 12, 1978, p. B 2 ) . P o p u l a t i o n p r o j e c t i o n s , b a s e d on p a s t t r e n d s , had s u g g e s t e d t h a t t h e c i t y c o u l d a c c o m o d a t e 750,000 p e o p l e by t h e 1990s ( C a l g a r y P l a n , 1 9 7 7 ) . G i v e n s u c h c o n f i d e n c e f o r t h e f u t u r e , t h e C i t y o f C a l g a r y m a i n t a i n e d t h a t a n n e x a t i o n o f r u r a l l a n d i s " u r g e n t l y r e q u i r e d " s o t h a t t h e c i t y c an c o p e w i t h a s u r g i n g p o p u l a t i o n and d e v e l o p m e n t p r e s s u r e s . A n n e x a t i o n would e n a b l e t h e c i t y t o meet i t s l o n g t e r m r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r g r o w t h by p r o v i d i n g l a n d t h a t c a n be d e v e l o p e d f o r a l l d e n s i t i e s o f h o u s i n g , as w e l l as l a n d f o r i n d u s t r i a l , c o m m e r c i a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l and open s p a c e r e q u i r e m e n t s . The C i t y a l s o f e l t i f l a n d was n o t made a v a i l a b l e f o r r e s i d e n t i a l - d e v e l o p m e n t , h o u s i n g p r i c e s w o u l d s o a r as a r e s u l t o f a d w i n d l i n g s u p p l y ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J a n u a r y 11, 1978, p. B l ) . In mid-1978, C a l g a r y c i t y c o u n c i l p r o p o s e d t o annex 48 - 46 -s q u a r e m i l e s t o t h e c i t y . P r o v i n c i a l M u n i c i p a l A f f a i r s M i n i s t e r D i c k J o h n s o n a r g u e d t h e r e was a l r e a d y enough l a n d w i t h i n t h e c i t y t o meet demands f o r h o u s i n g l o t s w i t h o u t s e r i o u s l y a f f e c t i n g a p o s s i b l e p r i c e i n c r e a s e o f e x i s t i n g s t o c k . Mr. J o h n s o n e x p l a i n e d , T h e r e a r e 30,000 a c r e s o f d e v e l o p a b l e l a n d w i t h i n t h e p r e s e n t c i t y l i m i t s and 18,000 o f t h o s e a r e a v a i l a b l e f o r u s e w i t h i n t h e n e a r f u t u r e , so a d e c i s i o n t o annex 48 s q u a r e m i l e s a d j a c e n t t o t h e c i t y seems t o i n d i c a t e t h e r e i s no r u s h t o add new l a n d t o t h e c i t y a t t h i s t i m e . ( C a l g a r y  H e r a l d , J u n e 4, 1978, p. A l ) W i t h i n a y e a r however, a p p r o v a l was g i v e n t o annex 25 o f t h e 48 s q . m i l e s . The D i r e c t o r o f t h e C a l g a r y R e g i o n a l P l a n n i n g C o m m i s s i o n c a l l e d t h e c i t y l a n d h u n g r y by p o i n t i n g o u t t h e r e s i d e n t i a l and i n d u s t r i a l g r o w t h i n C a l g a r y was c o n s u m i n g 2.75 s q u a r e m i l e s p e r y e a r y e t C a l g a r y C i t y C o u n c i l was m aking r e q u e s t s f o r a n n e x a t i o n n e a r l y t w e n t y t i m e s t h a t amount ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J u n e 4, 1978, p. A l ) . By 1980, w i t h C a l g a r y c i t y c o u n c i l c o n t i n u i n g t o r e s p o n d t o l a n d d e v e l o p m e n t c o m p a n i e s ' r e q u e s t s f o r a n n e x a t i o n s ad d e v e l o p m e n t o f s u b d i v i s i o n s w i t h i n t h e l a n d a l r e a d y a n n e x e d , s e r i o u s c o n c e r n s were b e i n g e x p r e s s e d o f t h e manner t h e c i t y was e v o l v i n g . The D i r e c t o r o f t h e C a l g a r y P l a n n i n g D e p a r t m e n t compared C a l g a r y and i t s r a p i d g r o w t h i n t h e 1970s t o a . . . - 47 -g a n g l y t e e n a g e r . About a l l y o u can t e l l i s t h a t i t i s g r o w i n g r a p i d l y and i s f u l l o f v i m and v i g o r . But so f a r i t has no i d e a what i t w i l l be as an a d u l t w i t h a p o p u l a t i o n o f one m i l l i o n i n t w e n t y y e a r s . ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J a n u a r y 2, 1980, P- B l ) A 1980 c i t y f i n a n c e d e p a r t m e n t r e p o r t s t a t e d C a l g a r y i s "on a b i n g e o f c o n s t r u c t i o n s p e n d i n g w h i c h must be c u r b e d " ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , May 11, 1980, p. A l ) . F o r m e r T o r o n t o mayor J o h n S e w e l l c o n t i n u e d t h e c r i t i c i s m o f C a l g a r y ' s management o f u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t by s t a t i n g , C a l g a r y s h o u l d s l o w i t s g r o w t h t o t a k e a l o o k where i t i s h e a d i n g — t o add up what i s h a p p e n i n g and f i g u r e o u t i f you want t o do a n y t h i n g d i f f e r e n t . C a l g a r y has an u n i q u e o p p o r t u n i t y t o c r i t i c a l l y e x amine i t s g r o w t h r a t h e r t h a n w a i t u n t i l i t i s a l l o v e r l i k e o t h e r c i t i e s . R a t h e r t h a n l e t t i n g t h e m a r k e t d i c t a t e t h e c i t y ' s g r o w t h , C a l g a r i a n s s h o u l d d e c i d e how b i g t h e y want t h e i r c i t y and what i s an a c c e p t a b l e r a t e o f g r o w t h . ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , May 5, 1981) D e s p i t e a s e e m i n g l y e n d l e s s q u e s t i o n i n g o f C a l g a r y ' s m u n i c i p a l p o l i c i e s , c i t y f a t h e r s as i n t h e r e a l e s t a t e boom a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e c e n t u r y a p p e a r e d t o be c o n t e n t t o a l l o w t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r t o d e t e r m i n e t h e c i t y ' s g r o w t h . As e a r l y as some t h r e e y e a r s p r i o r t o 1981 e v i d e n c e was b e c o m i n g i n c r e a s i n g l y a p p a r e n t ( e . g . , o i l embargo o v e r s e a s and n a t i o n a l p o l i c y t o C a n a d i a n i z e t h e o i l i n d u s t r y ) r e g a r d i n g an e c o n o m i c d o w n - t u r n t h a t c o u l d s e r i o u s l y a f f e c t t h e c i t y ' s c o n t i n u e d g r o w t h — a n e x p a n s i o n h i t h e r t o r e l a t e d - 48 -t o t h e o i l and gas i n d u s t r i e s i n t h e e x p l o i t a t i o n o f p r o v i n c i a l and n o r t h e r n r e s o u r c e s . L a t e 1980 and 1981 became t h e c r i s i s y e a r s when p l a n n e d p r o j e c t s o f v e r y m a j o r m a g n i t u d e l i k e A l s a n d s ( i . e . , a m a j o r h e a v y o i l p r o j e c t i n n o r t h e r n A l b e r t a t o be f i n a n c e d by a c o n s o r t i u m o f C a n a d i a n o i l c o m p a n i e s ) were c a n c e l l e d due t o t h e p o l i t i c a l c o n t r o v e r s y o f t h e N a t i o n a l E n e r g y P r o g r a m and d e c l i n i n g e n e r g y m a r k e t s . The d e m i s e o f t h e p r o c e s s e n g i n e e r i n g and c o n t r a c t i n g i n d u s t r i e s a c c e l e r a t e d and c r i t i c a l l y a f f e c t e d i n d u s t r i a l , c o m m e r c i a l and h o u s i n g p r o j e c t s . The d r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y ' s d e c l i n e a f f e c t e d a l l o f A l b e r t a . W i t h t h e a t t e n d a n t p r e s s u r e s o f i n c r e a s e d unemployment l e v e l s , h i g h i n t e r e s t r a t e s , i n c r e a s e d c i t y t a x e s , an a l a r m i n g i n c r e a s e i n b a n k r u p t c i e s and h o u s e f o r e c l o s u r e s and, r a p i d l y d e c l i n i n g p r o p e r t y v a l u e s , a s e r i o u s r e c e s s i o n i n C a l g a r y had m a n i f e s t e d i t s e l f . W h i l e t h e s e e f f e c t s became more p r o n o u n c e d i n t h e p e r i o d a f t e r 1981, i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o comprehend why C i t y p o l i c y would have e v e r e n t e r t a i n e d t h e f u r t h e r e x t e n s i o n o f m u n i c i p a l b o u n d a r i e s and a c o n t i n u e d commitment t o a c c o m o d a t e f u r t h e r new d e v e l o p m e n t s i n an i n c r e a s i n g l y more d i f f i c u l t m a r k e t . A l l e c o n o m i c y a r d - s t i c k s p r o g r e s s i v e l y e m p h a s i z e d u r g e n t need f o r a p o l i c y o f r e s t r a i n t and o f c o n s o l i d a t i o n i n t h e c i t y ' s b e s t i n t e r e s t s . However c i t y o f f i c i a l s m a i n t a i n e d t h a t t h e c i t y had t o i n c r e a s e b o t h t h e - 49 -s u p p l y o f l a n d and d e v e l o p t h a t l a n d a l r e a d y w i t h i n m u n i c i p a l b o u n d a r i e s , o r h o u s i n g p r i c e s w o u l d e s c a l a t e as a r e s u l t o f a s h o r t a g e o f s u p p l y . An i n c r e a s e d s u p p l y o f l a n d a l s o r e p r e s e n t e d a p o t e n t i a l f o r an i n c r e a s e d t a x b a s e . As l o n g as t h e ERCB was m a naging t h e s o u r gas o p e r a t i o n s o u t s i d e i t s m u n i c i p a l b o u n d a r y , t h e C i t y o f C a l g a r y f e l t c o n f i d e n t i n d e v e l o p i n g t h e l a n d w i t h i n i t s j u r i s d i c t i o n . The s u b d i v i s i o n s o f S a d d l e r i d g e , M a r t i n d a l e , T a r a d a l e , B u r l i n g t o n , A b b e y d a l e and A p p l e w o o d P a r k ( r e f e r t o Map 5) a r e a l l l o c a t i o n s c l o s e t o w h i c h a s t r i n g o f n e a r l y a d o z e n a c t i v e s o u r gas w e l l s and p i p e l i n e s p r e s e n t a p o s s i b l e t h r e a t t o t h e h e a l t h and s a f e t y o f t h e r e s i d e n t i a l p o p u l a t i o n . More s i g n i f i c a n t l y , f i v e o f t h e s e s i x n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y f r i n g e community d e v e l o p m e n t s r e c e i v e d i n i t i a l a p p r o v a l b e t w e e n 1981 and 1 9 8 4 — d e s p i t e t h e r a p i d l y w o r s e n i n g e c o n o m i c c l i m a t e ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , O c t o b e r 6, 1984, p. B l ) . I n a l l c a s e s , due t o t h e r e c e n t e c o n o m i c u n c e r t a i n t y i n A l b e r t a as a r e s u l t o f f a l l i n g o i l p r i c e s , t h e new c o m m u n i t i e s a r e l i k e l y t o r e m a i n i n an u n d e r d e v e l o p e d s t a t e f o r an e x t e n d e d p e r i o d i n t o t h e f u t u r e . I n 1982 c i t y c o u n c i l e n d o r s e d a m a s s i v e a n n e x a t i o n , known a s N o r t h r i d g e , o f a p p r o x i m a t e l y 4,500 a c r e s o f l a n d ( o r 330 s q . kin) n o r t h e a s t o f C a l g a r y ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , S e p t e mber 8, 1982, p. A l ) . T h i s would have i n c r e a s e d t h e t h e n p r e s e n t s i z e o f C a l g a r y o f 507 s q . km by more t h a n - 50 -h a l f . The d e v e l o p e r ' s p l a n was t o e v e n t u a l l y b u i l d h o u s i n g t o a c c o m o d a t e 55,000 r e s i d e n t s . However t h e l a n d c o n t a i n e d i n t h e p r o p o s e d a n n e x a t i o n a r e a was downwind f r o m two s o u r g a s p r o c e s s i n g p l a n t s and c o n t a i n e d o v e r two d o z e n s o u r g a s w e l l s . The C h i e f o f t h e C i t y o f C a l g a r y F i r e D e p a r t m e n t ' s h a z a r d o u s g o o d s d e p a r t m e n t s t a t e d i n t h e e v e n t o f an a c c i d e n t a l s o u r gas r e l e a s e , " i t w o u l d be n e a r i m p o s s i b l e t o e v a c u a t e t h a t many p e o p l e " ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , S e p t e m b e r 8, 1982, p. A l ) . One o f t h e o i l c o m p a n i e s engaged i n s o u r gas o p e r a t i o n s i n t h e a r e a , P e t r o g a s P r o c e s s i n g L t d . , s u g g e s t e d t h e c i t y s h o u l d w a i t up t o 25 y e a r s when t h e gas f i e l d s a r e d e p l e t e d b e f o r e e x p a n s i o n s h o u l d t a k e p l a c e , and went on t o p r o c l a i m , " U r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t and s o u r g a s c a n n o t c o - e x i s t  s a f e l y " ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , S e p t e m b e r 8, 1982, p. A l , e m p h a s i s i s m i n e ) . S u r p r i s i n g l y t h e ERCB s t a t e d d e v e l o p m e n t c o u l d s a f e l y o c c u r g i v e n a d e q u a t e s e t b a c k d i s t a n c e s , and c i t y c o u n c i l v o t e d 7-3 t o a p p r o v e t h e p r o p o s a l . P u b l i c c r i t i c i s m o f t h e c i t y a t t e m p t i n g t o " g o b b l e up v a l u a b l e a g r i c u l t u r e l a n d " and a t o t a l d i s r e g a r d f o r s o u r gas f a c i l i t i e s i n s t i g a t e d an u p r o a r i n C a l g a r y and on t h i s o c c a s i o n , bowing t o p u b l i c p r e s s u r e n o t m a r k e t c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , t h e C i t y w i t h d r e w t h e a n n e x a t i o n p r o p o s a l . I n a d d i t i o n t o e c o n o m i c c o n d i t i o n s i m p l y i n g no r a t i o n a l e f o r i n c r e a s e d s u b d i v i s i o n d e v e l o p m e n t i n n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y was t h e o c c u r r e n c e o f L o d g e p o l e i n l a t e 1982, t h e - 51 -most s e r i o u s and d r a m a t i c s o u r gas w e l l b l o w o u t i n t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e A l b e r t a p e t r o l e u m i n d u s t r y . The n e g a t i v e p u b l i c r e a c t i o n t o L o d g e p o l e was o v e r w h e l m i n g and t h e i n c i d e n t s e r v e d as a c a t a l y s t f o r c h a n g e ; t h e p u b l i c l e a r n e d i t c o u l d have a l o u d e r v o i c e i n d e t e r m i n i n g new r e g u l a t i o n s t o p r e v e n t a r e c u r r e n c e and s u g g e s t i n g i m p r o v e m e n t s i n p r o c e d u r e s f o r d e a l i n g w i t h s u c h e m e r g e n c i e s n e a r p o p u l a t e d a r e a s ( E n v i r o n m e n t V i e w s , December, 1984, p . 2 9 ) . D e s p i t e t h e i n c r e a s e d p u b l i c a w a r e n e s s and f e a r o f s o u r ga s a s a r e s u l t o f L o d g e p o l e , t h e C i t y o f C a l g a r y u n d e r p r e s s u r e f r o m l a n d d e v e l o p m e n t c o m p a n i e s , c o n t i n u e d t o d e v e l o p l a n d a d j a c e n t t o s o u r g a s r e s e r v e s i n n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y . I n 1983, t h e ERCB was r e q u e s t e d by c i t y c o u n c i l t o c o n s i d e r u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t p l a n s w i t h i n t h e n o r t h e a s t s u b d i v i s i o n community o f S a d d l e r i d g e (ERCB A n n u a l R e v i e w, 1983, p . 19) where e x i s t i n g s o u r g a s w e l l s and p i p e l i n e s were i n o p e r a t i o n . L i k e t h e N o r t h r i d g e p r o p o s a l , t h e ERCB a g a i n c o n c l u d e d r e s o u r c e and u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t c o u l d c o - e x i s t w i t h o u t s e r i o u s l y a f f e c t i n g t h e s a f e t y o f t h e g e n e r a l p u b l i c i f s p e c i f i c s e t b a c k d i s t a n c e s were o b s e r v e d . A g a i n a f t e r much p u b l i c d e b a t e , t h e u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t p r o p o s a l was h a l t e d u n t i l t h e s o u r g a s r e s e r v e s were p h a s e d o u t (ERCB D e c i s i o n D 8 3 - 6 ) . W h i l e i t may a p p e a r t h e ERCB a l s o p l a y e d an i n t e g r a l r o l e i n e n d o r s i n g v e r y q u e s t i o n a b l e u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t - 52 -p r o p o s a l s , i t must be remembered t h a t the c i t y i n i t i a t e d the land development p r o p o s a l s . If the a p p l i c a t i o n conformed to sour gas r e g u l a t o r y g u i d e l i n e s , the ERCB f e l t compelled to recommend ap p r o v a l of the a p p l i c a t i o n s . The next s e c t i o n of t h i s chapter w i l l address the r e g u l a t o r y development of sour gas p o l i c i e s . 2 . 6 ERCB R e g u l a t i o n o f Sour Gas The e s t a b l i s h m e n t and g e n e r a l acceptance of r e g u l a t o r y measures i n the A l b e r t a o i l and gas i n d u s t r y s i n c e 1938 o r g i n a t e s from the i n i t i a l r e g u l a t i o n s promoting c o n s e r v a t i o n ( i . e . p r e v e n t i n g waste) of o i l and gas r e s e r v e s . As the petroleum i n d u s t r y grew and expanded, the l e g i t i m a c y of r e g u l a t i o n s p e r t a i n i n g to w e l l s p a c i n g , maximum p r o d u c t i o n r a t e s and p r o r a t i o n i n g schemes were a l s o conceded to be necessary to m a i n t a i n o r d e r l y marketing and s t a b i l i t y i n the i n d u s t r y . By the e a r l y 1970s, government r e g u l a t i o n was viewed p o s i t i v e l y by the o i l and gas i n d u s t r y (Thompson, 1985). A t u r n i n g p o i n t f o r the o i l and gas r e g u l a t o r y agency o c c u r r e d i n 1971 when i t s mandate was e n l a r g e d to a l s o i n c l u d e development and o p e r a t i n g r e g u l a t i o n s of a range of o t h e r energy r e s o u r c e s and a c t i v i t i e s , i n c l u d i n g c o a l , hydro and thermal power, and chemical f e r t i l i z e r and ammonia p l a n t s ( M i l l a r d , 1984). I n i t i a l l y t h i s change was not - 53 -e x p e c t e d t o have a m a j o r i m p a c t on t h e manner the B o a r d f u n c t i o n e d b e c a u s e new r e g u l a t i o n s i m p l y e x t e n d e d t o o t h e r r e s o u r c e s , t h e same k i n d o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s t h a t had p r e v i o u s l y a p p l i e d t o o i l and g a s m a t t e r s . T h o s e d u t i e s i n c l u d e d e n s u r i n g e c o n o m i c and o r d e r l y d e v e l o p m e n t , r e s o u r c e e v a l u a t i o n , m a r k e t a s s e s s m e n t , p o l l u t i o n c o n t r o l i n r e s o u r c e d e v e l o p m e n t , s a f e and e f f i c i e n t p r a c t i c e s , d i s s e m i n a t i o n o f i n f o r m a t i o n and p r o v i d i n g a d v i c e t o g o v e r n m e n t ( S o u r Gas  S t u d y , 1984, p. 19, 2 0 ) . W h i l e t e c h n i c a l i s s u e s c o n t i n u e d t o r e p r e s e n t t h e m a j o r p o r t i o n o f ' t h e B o a r d ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , t h e r o l e o f t h e c i t i z e n r y i n ERCB p u b l i c h e a r i n g s t o c o n s i d e r a p p l i c a t i o n s f o r e n e r g y r e s o u r c e d e v e l o p m e n t s became a v e r y c r u c i a l p a r t o f t h e p r o v i n c i a l a g e n c y ' s e v o l v i n g c h a r a c t e r . In c a r r y i n g o u t i t s new r e g u l a t o r y o b l i g a t i o n s , t h e ERCB assumed t h e r o l e o f m e d i a t o r between p r o p o n e n t s o f r e s o u r c e a p p l i c a t i o n s and t h o s e l a n d o w n e r s , a d j a c e n t r e s i d e n t s and e n v i r o n m e n t a l g r o u p s who have l a n d u s e c o n c e r n s w i t h a p r o j e c t . In e s s e n c e , i t assumed t h e u n e n v i a b l e r o l e o f k e e p i n g a l l s i d e s happy (T h e Roughneck, J u l y , 1984, p. 1 6 ) . F o r e x a m p l e , f a r m e r s who had p r e v i o u s l y q u i e t l y a c c e p t e d o i l and gas d e v e l o p m e n t s , were now s e e k i n g t o a v o i d t h e l a n d u s e c o n s t r a i n t i m p o s e d by a well b e i n g l o c a t e d i n t h e m i d d l e o f t h e i r f i e l d w i t h an e l e v a t e d a c c e s s r o a d , o r by an p i p e l i n e c r o s s i n g t h e f a r m . - 54 -The p r i m a r y r e a s o n f o r t h e c u r r e n t i n c r e a s e i n p u b l i c c o n c e r n o v e r r e s o u r c e d e v e l o p m e n t i s t h e c o n t i n u a l s t r e a m o f e n e r g y p r o j e c t s t a k i n g p l a c e i n t h e p r o v i n c e . I n t h e p a s t f i v e y e a r s a l o n e , t h e r e have been n e a r l y 29,000 o i l and g a s w e l l s d r i l l e d , 95,000 k i l o m e t r e s o f p i p e l i n e c o n s t r u c t e d and 65 s o u r g a s p l a n t s b u i l t ( A l b e r t a R e p o r t , J u l y 8, 1985, p. 2 8 ) . I n e v i t a b l y , t h i s l e a d s t o l a n d use c o n f l i c t s . A r e v i e w o f t h e ERCB p u b l i c h e a r i n g s h e l d b e t w e e n 1974 and 1983 i n d i c a t e s a t w o - f o l d i n c r e a s e i n a n n u a l t o t a l h e a r i n g s , w i t h t h o s e a p p l i c a t i o n s f o r s o u r g a s p l a n t s , e l e c t r i c t r a n s m i s s i o n l i n e s , and s o u r o i l and gas p i p e l i n e s e l i c i t i n g t h e most p u b l i c r e s p o n s e ( M i l l a r d , 1 9 8 4 ) . I n m a t t e r s r e l a t i n g t o t h e s o u r gas i n d u s t r y , t h e a u t h o r i t y o f t h e ERCB i s v e r y b r o a d and e x t e n d s t o , ( a ) t h e a p p r o v a l , d e n i a l , d e f e r r a l , o r m o d i f i c a t i o n o f a s o u r gas a p p l i c a t i o n , t h e r e b y d i c t a t i n g t h e p a c e and e x t e n t o f s o u r gas d e v e l o p m e n t , (b) h o l d i n g p u b l i c m e e t i n g s , h e a r i n g s , and i n q u i r i e s , ( c ) e s t a b l i s h i n g o r d e r s on p r o c e e d i n g s , and (d) recommending a c t i o n s o r s t u d i e s t o be u n d e r t a k e n i n a s p e c i f i c t i m e . I n i t i a l p u b l i c h e a l t h and e n v i r o n m e n t i s s u e s c o n c e r n i n g t h e s o u r gas i n d u s t r y were f o c u s s e d on t h e r e l e a s e ox p o l l u t a n t s by s o u r gas p r o c e s s i n g p l a n t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y s u l p h u r d i o x i d e e m m i s s i o n s ( A l b e r t a E n v i r o n m e n t C o n s e r v a t i o n - 55 -A u t h o r i t y , 1 9 7 2 ) . Such c o n c e r n s have s u b s e q u e n t l y had an e s p e c i a l l y h i g h p r o f i l e i n s o u t h e r n A l b e r t a n e a r t h e town o f P i n c h e r C r e e k where an e x t e n s i v e M e d i c a l D i a g n o s t i c S t u d y i s c u r r e n t l y underway t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e c o r r e l a t i o n s o f s o u r g a s p r o c e s s i n g p l a n t s t o p u b l i c h e a l t h . U n l i k e s o u r gas w e l l s and p i p e l i n e s , s o u r g a s p r o c e s s i n g p l a n t s must comply i n a d d i t i o n t o ERCB g u i d e l i n e s , t o t h e r e g u l a t i o n s o f t h e A l b e r t a P l a n n i n g A c t ( L a n d Use and S o u r G a s , O k o t o k s - H i g h  R i v e r , A l b e r t a , F e b r u a r y , 1983, p. 2 0 ) . S o u r gas p r o c e s s i n g p l a n t s must o b t a i n p r o p e r l a n d u s e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and a d e v e l o p m e n t p e r m i t b e f o r e o p e r a t i o n c a n b e g i n . I n t h e e a r l y 1970s, t h e ERCB p o s s e s s e d s c a n t r e g u l a t i o n s t o p r o t e c t , t h e p o p u l a c e f r o m t h e h a z a r d s p o s e d by p o t e n t i a l d i r e c t r e l e a s e s o f t o x i c h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e f r o m s o u r gas w e l l s and p i p e l i n e s . S i m i l a r t o what had been p r a c t i s e d i n t h e p r e v i o u s 50 y e a r s , t h e s o u r g a s i n d u s t r y i t s e l f was e n s u r i n g t h e i r o p e r a t i o n s were s a f e . The ERCB's r e g u l a t o r y s a f e d i s t a n c e r e q u i r e m e n t s t h a t were i n e f f e c t d i d n o t d i f f e r e n t i a t e between sweet and s o u r gas ( A I G S G I , O c t o b e r , 1974, p . 4 . 8 ) , and s p e c i a l s a f e t y r e q u i r e m e n t s on s o u r gas w e l l s w i t h a H2S c o n c e n t r a t i o n h i g h e r t h a n 5 p e r c e n t were v e r y s u p e r f i c i a l ( S e c t i o n 7.050, A l b e r t a O i l  and Gas C o n s e r v a t i o n R e g u l a t i o n s ) . In a d d i t i o n t o t h e meagre r e s t r i c t i o n s p l a c e d on s o u r g a s o p e r a t i o n s , t h e ERCB - 56 -was r e s t r i c t e d i n i t s a b i l i t y t o c o n t r o l t h e e n c r o a c h m e n t o f u r b a n o r r u r a l d e v e l o p m e n t on s o u r g a s f a c i l i t i e s . I n s t i g a t e d by t h e New Norway, A l b e r t a , s o u r b l o w o u t i n 1973, t h e j o i n t p r o v i n c i a l g o v e r n m e n t - s o u r g a s i n d u s t r y s t u d y i n t o t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f s o u r gas d e v e l o p m e n t , c o n c l u d e d t h a t i n s u f f i c i e n t g u i d e l i n e s and p r o c e d u r e s e x i s t t o a d e q u a t e l y c o n t r o l t h e g r o w t h o f p o p u l a t i o n c e n t r e s on s o u r g a s o p e r a t i o n s ( A I G S G I , 1974, p . 2 ) . The r e p o r t p i n p o i n t e d t h e C r o s s f i e l d s o u r gas f i e l d , n o r t h e a s t o f C a l g a r y , as p o s i n g s e r i o u s h a z a r d s t o t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y , The C r o s s f i e l d b o u n d a r i e s encompass a s u b s t a n t i a l p o r t i o n o f t h e C a l g a r y C i t y b o u n d a r i e s . As t h e c i t y e x p a n d s f u r t h e r n o r t h and e a s t , more and more d e v e l o p m e n t w i l l be e x p o s e d t o h i g h e r r i s k a r e a s i n t h e e v e n t o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e r e l e a s e s . ( O c t o b e r , 1974, p. 4-16) As a r e s u l t o f t h e C o m m i t t e e ' s c o n c l u s i o n , t h e ERCB commenced a p e r i o d o f i n c r e a s e d r e g u l a t o r y a t t e n t i o n t o t h e s o u r g a s i n d u s t r y . However, t h e ERCB d i d n o t t a k e c h a r g e o f t h e e m e r g i n g s o u r gas p r o b l e m , and c o n s i s t e n t l y r e f l e c t a c o n c e r n f o r s o u r g a s d e v e l o p m e n t n e a r r e s i d e n t i a l a r e a s i n i t s d e c i s i o n s . T h e i r a p p r o a c h was p i e c e m e a l and s t r a t e g i e s s o m e t i m e s d i f f e r e d f r o m a p p l i c a t i o n t o a p p l i c a t i o n . The l a c k o f a m a j o r i n d u s t r i a l s o u r gas a c c i d e n t i n A l b e r t a i n o v e r 50 y e a r s o f o p e r a t i n g h i s t o r y p e r m i t t e d t h e - 57 -e x i s t e n c e o f s u c h an a t t i t u d e . The p o t e n t i a l d a n g e r o f s o u r g a s , a l t h o u g h r e c o g n i z e d i n t h e 1974 G o v e r n m e n t - I n d u s t r y R e p o r t , was n o t y e t f u l l y a p p r e c i a t e d by e i t h e r t h e ERCB o r t h e p u b l i c . O n l y t h e i n d u s t r y , who was d i r e c t l y i n v o l v e d i n t h e d r i l l i n g and p r o d u c t i o n o f s o u r g a s , f e l t t h e l e t h a l c o n s e q u e n c e s o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e . D e s p i t e i n f r e q u e n t b u t r e o c c u r i n g a c c i d e n t a l i n d u s t r i a l d e a t h s , as a r e s u l t o f e x p o s u r e t o B^S, t h e s o u r g a s i n d u s t r y was f u n c t i o n i n g w e l l f o r t h e m a g n i t u d e o f i t s o p e r a t i o n s . The s o u r gas i n d u s t r y r e a l i z e d t h e d a n g e r s o f t h e H2S and d i d n o t have t o be i n c r e a s i n g l y r e g u l a t e d i n t o c o n c e r n f o r s a f e t y . B e c a u s e o f t h e n a t u r e o f t h e i n d u s t r y , o p e r a t o r s a c t u a l l y owed t h e i r e x i s t e n c e t o m a i n t a i n i n g t h e i r s a f e o p e r a t i n g r e c o r d . The most i n f l u e n t i a l r e g u l a t o r y c o n c e p t a d o p t e d by t h e ERCB as a r e s u l t o f t h e 1974 C o m m i t t e e was t h a t no new s u b d i v i s i o n d e v e l o p m e n t be p e r m i t t e d w i t h i n a b o u n d a r y t h a t c o u l d , by w o r s t c a s e c a l c u l a t i o n o f an a c c i d e n t a l r e l e a s e o f s o u r g a s , r e c e i v e up t o 100 p a r t s p e r m i l l i o n (ppm) o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e gas ( A I G S G I , 1974, p. 3 . 1 ) . The 100 ppm c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f H2S was s e l e c t e d as t h e s a f e d o s a g e o r e x p o s u r e b e c a u s e i t was n e i t h e r l i f e t h r e a t e n i n g o r o v e r l y p e s s i m i s t i c . The 100 ppm b o u n d a r y e s t i m a t i o n became known as t h e i s o p l e t h c o n c e p t ( i . e . l o c a t i o n o f p o i n t s o f e q u a l g r o u n d l e v e l c o n c e n t r a t i o n s o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e ) , and r e s u l t e d i n r e s t r i c t i o n s on r e s i d e n t i a l l a n d s u b d i v i s i o n i n - 58 -e x i s t i n g s o u r gas a r e a s and on t h e s i t i n g o f new s o u r gas f a c i l i t i e s . Where t h e r e was no r e a s o n a b l e d a t a upon w h i c h t o compute t h e c o m p l e x H2S i s o p l e t h , t h e s u r f a c e l o c a t i o n o f a w e l l was t o be n o t l e s s t h a n 1500 m e t r e s f r o m an e x i s t i n g u r b a n c e n t r e o r n o t l e s s t h a n 600 m e t r e s f r o m any e x i s t i n g p e r m a n e n t r e s i d e n c e (ERCB I n t e r i m D i r e c t i v e 78-1, p . 2 ) . S u ch s e p a r a t i o n d i s t a n c e s were deemed t o be a b l e t o c o p e w i t h a s o u r g a s a c c i d e n t . The a d o p t i o n o f t h e i s o p l e t h c o n c e p t t o c o n t r o l l a n d u s e n e a r s o u r g a s f a c i l i t i e s was an i n n o v a t i v e p l a n n i n g t e c h n i q u e f o r t h e o i l and gas i n d u s t r y . I t r e p r e s e n t e d an a t t e m p t t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e f a c t o r s i n f l u e n c i n g a s o u r gas w e l l b l o w o u t ' s c o n s e q u e n c e s , r a t h e r t h a n s i m p l y r e l y i n g on a n o n - s u b s t a n t i a t e d s a f e s e t b a c k d i s t a n c e r e g u l a t i o n . In F r a n c e , n e a r t h e LACQ s o u r gas f i e l d , s a f e s e t b a c k d i s t a n c e s , a l t h o u g h more r e s t r i c t i v e t h a n t h o s e u s e d p r e v i o u s l y by A l b e r t a , were s t i l l e m p l o y e d ( A I G S G I , 1974, p . 4 - 1 1 ) . However t h e O i l and Gas D i v i s i o n o f t h e R a i l r o a d C o m m i s s i o n o f T e x a s , U.S.A. a d o p t e d A l b e r t a ' s a p p r o a c h t o s o u r g a s r e g u l a t i o n and e n a c t e d R u l e 36 t o r e g u l a t e a l l s o u r g a s d e v e l o p m e n t i n t h e s t a t e t h r o u g h t h e use o f t h e 100 ppm i s o p l e t h . The R u l e became e f f e c t i v e i n A p r i l , 1975, s i x months a f t e r t h e ERCB's i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f t h e c o n c e p t ( R a i l r o a d C o m m i s s i o n o f T e x a s , R u l e 36, R e f e r e n c e S p e c i a l O r d e r N. 20-64973, A p r i l 17, 1 9 7 5 ) . R u l e 36 c o n t i n u e s t o be - 59 -a p p l i e d i n T e x a s t o d a y , as w e l l as s i m i l a r r e g u l a t i o n s i n o t h e r s t a t e s d e v e l o p i n g s o u r g a s ( e . g . Wyoming, M i s s i s s i p p i , New M e x i c o ) ( O i l and Gas J o u r n a l , J u l y , 1985, p. 5 6 ) . When t h e i s o p l e t h c o n c e p t was a p p l i e d t o n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y i n 1974, a p p r o x i m a t e l y 1,100 a c r e s o f l a n d w i t h i n t h e C i t y were r e s t r i c t e d t o f u t u r e r e s i d e n t i a l d e v e l o p m e n t u n t i l t h e s o u r gas f a c i l i t i e s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e 100 ppm c o n t o u r c e a s e d o p e r a t i o n ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J u l y 8, 1984, p. B4; R e f e r t o Map 6 ) . C o m p l i c a t i n g t h e l a n d use r e s t r i c t i o n s , however, t h e i s o p l e t h c o n t o u r a l s o i n f r i n g e d upon e x i s t i n g r e s i d e n t i a l homes. In t h e f o l l o w i n g y e a r s , a t t e m p t s t o r e f i n e t h e i s o p l e t h p r e d i c t i o n model p r o d u c e d v e r y d i v e r g e n t r e s u l t s , d e p e n d i n g on who p e r f o r m e d t h e s t u d y and what a s s u m p t i o n s were u s e d . The ERCB became v e r y f l e x i b l e i n t h e e n f o r c e m e n t o f t h e i s o p l e t h c o n c e p t , and i n c e r t a i n i n s t a n c e s a l l o w e d r e s i d e n t i a l g r o w t h w i t h i n t h e 100 ppm b o u n d a r y (ERCB D e c i s i o n D 7 7 - 4 ) . In o t h e r i n s t a n c e s , t h e ERCB e n c o u r a g e d t h e r e m o v a l o f t h e i s o p l e t h f r o m t h e a r e a a l t o g e t h e r . F o r e x a m p l e , a s o u r gas w e l l i m m e d i a t e l y e a s t o f t h e n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y community o f F a l c o n r i d g e , w h i c h was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r a m a j o r p o r t i o n o f H2S i s o p l e t h w i t h i n t h e C i t y , was c u r t a i l i n g r e s i d e n t i a l d e v e l o p m e n t t h e r e i n . The l a n d d e v e l o p e r w i s h i n g t o b u i l d i n t h e r e s t r i c t e d a r e a p a i d a p p r o x i m a t e l y $2.5 m i l l i o n t o r e l o c a t e t h e w e l l one m i l e - 60 -f u r t h e r e a s t , t h e r e b y r e m o v i n g t h e 100 ppm c o n t o u r f r o m C i t y ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J a n u a r y 11, 1977, p. B l ) . In o t h e r i n s t a n c e s , c e r t a i n p i p e l i n e s were abandoned and emergency shut-down v a l v e s i n s t a l l e d i n o t h e r l i n e s . From an e n g i n e e r i n g and e c o n o m i c p o i n t o f v i e w , however, r e l o c a t i o n o f s o u r g a s w e l l s was n o t a l w a y s f e a s i b l e o r p o s s i b l e , t h e r e b y d e n y i n g an ERCB r e g u l a t o r y p o l i c y o f r e m o t e s i t i n g o f s o u r g a s f a c i l i t i e s f r o m u r b a n a r e a s . By 1979, amid c o n t i n u i n g p r e s s u r e f r o m t h e l a r g e l a n d d e v e l o p m e n t c o m p a n i e s d e s i r i n g t o s u b d i v i d e t h e i r l a n d , p r i v a t e i n d i v i d u a l l a n d owners w i s h i n g t o s e l l o r b u i l d on t h e i r l a n d , and t h e C i t y o f C a l g a r y w i s h i n g t o p r o v i d e h o u s i n g f o r t h e i n c r e a s i n g p o p u l a t i o n o f C a l g a r y , t h e ERCB d i s c o n t i n u e d t h e u s e o f t h e i s o p l e t h d i s t a n c e t o s e p a r a t e u r b a n and s o u r gas d e v e l o p m e n t . The ERCB v i e w e d t h e use o f an h y p o t h e t i c a l w o r s t c a s e b l o w o u t s i t u a t i o n t o d e t e r m i n e a s a f e d i s t a n c e f r o m s o u r gas f a c i l i t i e s as an u n n e c e s s a r i l y r e s t r i c t i v e method o f a s c e r t a i n i n g t h e p o t e n t i a l i m p a c t o f a s o u r gas a c c i d e n t (ERCB D e c i s i o n 83-6, p. 6 ) , and t h e r e f o r e r e p r e s e n t e d an u n r e a l i s t i c r e s t r i c t i o n on use o f l a n d . S u r p r i s i n g l y , t h e ERCB c o n t i n u e d t o use t h e i s o p l e t h c o n c e p t as t h e b a s i s t o d e t e r m i n e t h e e m e r g e n c y p l a n n i n g z o n e s a r o u n d s o u r gas f a c i l i t i e s i n t h e e v e n t o f an u n c o n t r o l l e d r e l e a s e o f H 2S (ERCB I n t e r i m D i r e c t i v e 7 6 - 2 ) . The new minimun d i s t a n c e r e q u i r e m e n t s s e p a r a t i n g new - 61 -s o u r gas f a c i l i t i e s f r o m r e s i d e n t i a l and o t h e r d e v e l o p m e n t s t h a t r e p l a c e d t h e i s o p l e t h c o n c e p t , were d e v e l o p e d by A l b e r t a E n v i r o n m e n t and t h e ERCB, and were a p p l i e d i n g r a n t i n g a p p r o v a l s f o r s o u r g a s f a c i l i t i e s n e a r a r e a s o f p u b l i c use (ERCB I n t e r i m D i r e c t i v e ID 7 9 - 2 ) . W i t h r e g a r d t o e n c r o a c h m e n t o f o c c u p i e d b u i l d i n g s on e x i s t i n g s o u r g a s f a c i l i t i e s , t h e S u b d i v i s i o n R e g u l a t i o n s o f The P l a n n i n g A c t , 1977, were amended t o r e q u i r e s e t b a c k s s i m i l a r t o t h e B o a r d ' s s e p a r a t i o n d i s t a n c e s ( P r o v i n c e o f A l b e r t a L e g i s l a t i v e O r d e r i n C o u n c i l 3 8 2 / 7 9 ) . The c r i t e r i a u s e d t o a f i x one o f f o u r v a r i o u s c l a s s e s o f s a f e s e p a r a t i o n d i s t a n c e s t o a p a r t i c u l a r s o u r g a s f a c i l i t y i n c l u d e d , ( a ) t h e H2S c o n c e n t r a t i o n i n t h e g a s , (b) t h e p o t e n t i a l s o u r g a s r e l e a s e v o l u m e s , and ( c ) t h e d e n s i t y o f t h e p o p u l a t i o n l i v i n g n e a r b y ( I b i d , ERCB ID 79-2; R e f e r t o A p p e n d i x 4 ) . The s e p a r a t i o n d i s t a n c e s i n c r e a s e d as t h e a b o v e c r i t e r i a i n c r e a s e d f o r any p a r t i c u l a r p r o p o s a l . The i s o p l e t h c o n c e p t f r o m a p u b l i c s a f e t y and d e v e l o p m e n t c o n t r o l p o i n t o f v i e w was much more r e s t r i c t i v e and p e r h a p s , g i v e n t h e p o t e n t i a l d a n g e r o f H 2 S , much more p r a c t i c a l t h a n t h e newly i m p l e m e n t e d s e t b a c k p o l i c y . The e l i m i n a t i o n o f t h e i s o p l e t h c o n c e p t i n t h e r e g u l a t i o n o f l a n d u s e m a t t e r s o pened up t h e r e s i d e n t i a l l a n d d e v e l o p m e n t p r o c e s s a g a i n , and e v e n t u a l l y r e s u l t e d i n r e s i d e n t i a l - 62 -s u b d i v i s i o n s b e i n g b u i l t w i t h i n one k i l o m e t r e o f s o u r gas w e l l s and p i p e l i n e s a d j a c e n t t o n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y . C o n s e q u e n t l y , w i t h d r a w a l o f t h e i s o p l e t h c o n c e p t as a r e g u l a t o r y t e c h n i q u e , f a c i l i t a t e d t h e s i t u a t i o n c o n f r o n t i n g n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y t o d a y . In l e s s e n i n g t h e l a n d u s e c o n t r o l s however, t h e ERCB was a l s o p l a c i n g much more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y w i t h t h e s o u r g a s i n d u s t r y t o p r e v e n t s o u r gas a c c i d e n t s f r o m o c c u r i n g . Improved s u p e r v i s i o n and t r a i n i n g o f i n d i v i d u a l s w o r k i n g on s o u r g a s w e l l s , and s t r i c t e r e q u i p m e n t s t a n d a r d s and r e q u i r e m e n t s were i d e n t i f i e d as n e c e s s a r y m i t i g a t i v e s t r a t e g i e s . S h o r t l y a f t e r t h e l a n d u s e r e g u l a t o r y c h a n g e s , a c h a n g i n g ERCB a t t i t u d e t o t h e i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y o f u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t and s o u r gas d e v e l o p m e n t became e v i d e n t . I n 1980, i n a s o u r g a s a p p l i c a t i o n f o r d e v e l o p m e n t i n an a r e a s o u t h o f C a l g a r y , t h e ERCB p r o c l a i m e d t h a t s o u r gas r e s e r v e s s h o u l d be d e p l e t e d b e f o r e l a n d u s e c o n f l i c t s became so e x t r e m e t h a t t h e r e s o u r c e s a r e l o s t (ERCB D e c i s i o n D 8 0 - 6 ) . The B o a r d a l s o b e g a n t o i n c l u d e m a n d a t o r y p u b l i c a w a r e n e s s p r o g r a m s as a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f s o u r gas o p e r a t o r s (ERCB D e c i s i o n D 8 0 - 2 6 ) . S e r i o u s a t t e n t i o n t o t h e s o u r gas i n d u s t r y d i d n o t t a k e p l a c e u n t i l t h e h i s t o r i c L o d g e p o l e b l o w o u t o c c u r r e d i n t h e autumn o f 1982. I n t h e s p a c e o f two months w h i l e L o d g e p o l e - 63 -r a g e d , s o u r gas was t r a n s f o r m e d f r o m a l o n g t i m e , b r e a d and b u t t e r i n d u s t r y i n t h e p r o v i n c e t o a m a j o r p u b l i c h e a l t h and s a f e t y i s s u e ( T h e Roughneck, J u l y , 1984, p. 1 4 ) . S u d d e n l y a l l s o u r g a s p r o j e c t s were u n d e r i n c r e a s i n g s c r u t i n y f r o m t h e a f f e c t e d p u b l i c . E n v i r o n m e n t a l p r e s s u r e g r o u p s , w h i c h had l o n g had d i f f i c u l t y g a i n i n g p u b l i c sympathy and support., were b e i n g q u o t e d d a i l y and were e v e n i n demand as c o n s u l t a n t s i n c o m m u n i t i e s n e a r s o u r g a s d e v e l o p m e n t s ( E n v i r o n m e n t V i e w s , December, 1984, p. 1 4 ) . S u b s e q u e n t t o t h e f i n d i n g s o f t h e e x t e n s i v e and e x p e n s i v e L o d g e p o l e B l o w o u t I n q u i r y (ERCB D e c i s i o n D84-9,  P h a s e 1 and 2 r e p o r t s , December, 1 9 8 4 ) , t h e ERCB i m p o s e d s t r i c t new p l a n n i n g and o p e r a t i n g p r o c e d u r e s on c o m p a n i e s w i s h i n g t o d r i l l f o r s o u r g a s r e s e r v e s . Where a w e l l was t o e n c o u n t e r a h i g h H2S c o n c e n t r a t i o n w i t h t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r a r e l e a s e volume more t h a n two metres-^ p e r s e c o n d ( i . e 2 M3/second) o f s o u r g a s , and was t o be l o c a t e d w i t h i n 1.5 k i l o m e t r e s o f an u r b a n s e t t i n g , t h e w e l l was t o be i d e n t i f i e d as a " c r i t i c a l " s o u r g a s w e l l (ERCB D 8 4 - 9 ) . C r i t i c a l s o u r g a s w e l l s s u b s e q u e n t l y became t h e p r i m a r y r e g u l a t o r y t a r g e t s o f t h e ERCB. I n c r e a s e d r e g u l a t i o n on s u c h w e l l s meant i n c r e a s e d c o s t s f o r t h e o p e r a t o r s who c o u l d n o t q u i t e u n d e r s t a n d how one s o u r gas b l o w o u t c o u l d have s u c h a d r a m a t i c e f f e c t on t h e i n d u s t r y a f t e r an i m p e c c a b l e 60 y e a r s a f e t y r e c o r d o f d r i l l i n g f o r s o u r gas r e s e r v e s . - 64 -I n t h e autumn o f 1982, p r i o r t o L o d g e p o l e o c c u r r i n g , t h e ERCB g a v e a p p r o v a l t o C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l P e t r o l e u m L t d . ( i . e . CanOxy) t o d r i l l a s o u r gas w e l l w i t h a H2S c o n t e n t o f a p p r o x i m a t e l y 31 p e r c e n t , l e s s t h a n one k i l o m e t r e f r o m t h e o u t s k i r t s o f n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y ( C r o s s f i e l d Wabamun  A P o o l D e v e l o p m e n t P l a n , A p r i l , 1984. p . 2 ) . A c c o r d i n g t o t h e s e p a r a t i o n d i s t a n c e g u i d e l i n e s o f ERCB I n t e r i m D i r e c t i v e 81-3, t h e w e l l was c l a s s e d as a L e v e l 2 s o u r g a s f a c i l i t y , t h e s e c o n d " s a f e s t " t y p e o f s o u r gas w e l l o f t h e f o u r s e p a r a t i o n d i s t a n c e l e v e l s ( C r o s s f i e l d Wabamum A P o o l  D e v e l o p m e n t P l a n , 1984, p. 1 1 ) . The w e l l was s u c c e s s f u l l y d r i l l e d and upon c o m p l e t i o n , i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e p e n e t r a t e d s o u r gas r e s e r v o i r e x t e n d e d f u r t h e r t o t h e s o u t h , a p p r o x i m a t e l y 2,800 m e t r e s u n d e r n e a t h t h e C i t y o f C a l g a r y . T h i s w e l l s e t t h e s t a g e f o r t h e c u r r e n t a p p l i c a t i o n . W h i l e t h e p u b l i c o f n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y v i e w s C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l ' s p r e s e n t a p p l i c a t i o n as "a r i s k t o o b i g t o t a k e " ( C a l g a r y Sun, September 28, 1984, p . 6 ) , t h e o i l company f e e l s c o n f i d e n t t h e w e l l s c a n be s u c c e s s f u l l y d r i l l e d . CanOxy s e e s t h e g o v e r n m e n t as l e s s o r o f t h e m i n e r a l r i g h t s , and as p o s s e s s i n g t h e l e g a l o b l i g a t i o n t o see t h a t d e v e l o p m e n t o c c u r s . The s o u r g a s i n d u s t r y has s p e n t money i n good f a i t h on m i n e r a l r i g h t s , e x p l o r a t i o n and p l a n n i n g , h e n c e l e g a l l y and m o r a l l y e x p e c t s s u p p o r t f r o m t h e ERCB. However, t h e a p p l i c a t i o n i s n o t a ' c u t and d r i e d ' r e s o u r c e - 65 -d e v e l o p m e n t p r o p o s a l ; i t r e p r e s e n t s t h e c u l m i n a t i o n o f a s e r i o u s l a n d - u s e p r o b l e m t h a t c o u l d be n e g l e c t e d no l o n g e r . The onus f o r t h e l a n d u s e p r o b l e m s must r e s i d e w i t h C a l g a r y C i t y C o u n c i l , who was so o v e r w h e l m i n g l y p r o - r e s i d e n t i a l g r o w t h o r i e n t a t e d , t h a t i t i g n o r e d t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a s o u r g a s p r o b l e m . C i t y C o u n c i l p l a c e d t h e f i n a n c i a l b e n e f i t s o f d e v e l o p i n g l a n d a h e a d o f e n s u r i n g t h e p u b l i c h e a l t h and s a f e t y o f i t s r e s i d e n t s . F o r e x a m p l e , as r e c e n t as t h e autumn o f 1984, C a l g a r y c i t y c o u n c i l i n f o r m e d t h e ERCB t h e y d i d n o t o b j e c t t o C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l ' s i n i t i a l w e l l a p p l i c a t i o n , d e s p i t e i t s p l a n n e d l o c a t i o n w i t h i n 900 m e t r e s o f n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y . C o n c e r n e d r e s i d e n t s o f n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y f e l t t h e w e l l a p p l i c a t i o n s h o u l d be o p p o s e d u n l e s s t h e w e l l was shown not t o r e p r e s e n t a p o t e n t i a l d a n g e r t o t h e i r h e a l t h and s a f e t y ( T o r o n t o G l o b e  and M a i l , S e p t ember 28, 1984, p . A 6 ) . The ERCB d i d n o t i m m e d i a t e l y a p p r o v e t h e w e l l e v e n t h o u g h a l l e x p l i c i t r e g u l a t i o n s were met, and t h e p r o p o s a l c o n t i n u e s t o be d e b a t e d . F o r t h e ERCB, t h e e x i s t e n c e o f c o n f l i c t c o n d i t i o n s i s a m i x e d b l e s s i n g . On t h e p o s i t i v e s i d e a r e t h e o b v i o u s a d v a n t a g e s o f h a v i n g c r i t i c a l r e v i e w s o f t h e a s s u m p t i o n s and a n a l y s i s on w h i c h p u b l i c d e c i s i o n s a r e b a s e d . E q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t i s t h e o p e n n e s s t h a t comes f r o m p u b l i c s c r u t i n y o f t h e ERCB r e g u l a t o r y p r o c e s s . O n l y by u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e v i e w p o i n t o f r i s k f r o m t h e p u b l i c , o i l company and t h e ERCB - 66 -p e r s p e c t i v e , c a n an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e o b s t a c l e s c o n f r o n t i n g t h e p r o b l e m be p r o v i d e d . The d i s a d v a n t a g e s o f i n c r e a s i n g c o n f l i c t a r e p r i m a r i l y o p e r a t i o n a l . D e c i s i o n s on t h e s o u r g a s / u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t p r o b l e m a r e d e l a y e d . L i t i g a t i o n o r r e p e a t e d t e c h n i c a l m o d i f i c a t i o n s i n c u r c o s t s w h i c h w o u l d n o t o r d i n a r i l y o c c u r and i n v e s t m e n t i n t h e s o u r gas i n d u s t r y i s p o s t p o n e d . From t h e v i e w p o i n t o f t h e r e g u l a t e d , p r o b a b l y t h e w o r s t f e a t u r e o f t h i s mode o f d e c i s i o n m a k i n g i s t h e p r o b l e m o f m o v i n g t a r g e t s ; t h a t i s r e g u l a t o r y g u i d e l i n e s a r e r e v i s e d a t a r a t e f a s t e r t h a n i n d u s t r y c a n a d a p t ( p e r s o n a l c o n v e r s a t i o n s w i t h Angus McKee, p r e s i d e n t o f C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l p e t r o l e u m L t d . , A p r i l , 1 9 8 5 ) . CanOxy f e e l s i t c a n a d a p t t o a wide r a n g e o f p o l i c i e s , e v e n t h o s e s e e n as c o s t l y , p r o v i d e d t h e r u l e s a r e c l e a r and s p e c i f i c , and t h a t p o l i c i e s c o n t r o l l i n g u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t w i l l n o t s u d d e n l y c h a n g e and j e o p a r d i z e t h e i r o p e r a t i o n s . F o r t u n a t e l y , u n l i k e t h e l i m i t e d f o c u s o f m u n i c p a l a u t h o r i t i e s , t h e ERCB c u r r e n t l y t a k e s more i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n i n i t s s o u r g a s d e c i s i o n s t h a n s i m p l y a p p r o v i n g o r d i s p r o v i n g a d e v e l o p m e n t a p l i c a t i o n . W i t h CanOxy's p r o p o s a l , t h e s o u r g a s c o n t r o v e r s y n e e d s t o be d i f f u s e d r a t h e r t h a n a r b i t a r i l y d e c i d e d , and i n d e e d an u n h u r r i e d a p p r o a c h t o t h i s a p p l i c a t i o n has been t h e ERCB's f o r t e . The a g e n c y s h o u l d be commended f o r i t s p a t i e n c e , and - 67 -i t s e l i c i t a t i o n o f a l l s i d e s o f t h e s t o r y t h u s f a r . S uch a p r o c e d u r e has n o t a l w a y s been p r a c t i s e d i n t h e p a s t . 2 . 7 I n e v i t a b l e C o n f l i c t D r i l l i n g f o r s o u r gas r e s e r v e s i s a l o c a t i o n s p e c i f i c l a n d - u s e a c t i v i t y , i n t h a t d r i l l i n g i s p e r f o r m e d where t h e r e s e r v e s a r e l o c a t e d . B e i n g an e n t i r e l y s o c i a l c r e a t i o n , u r b a n i z a t i o n has more f l e x i b i l i t y and t h r o u g h e f f e c t i v e management and p l a n n i n g i n i t i a t i v e s , u r b a n g r o w t h s h o u l d be a b l e t o p r o c e e d i n an o r d e r l y f a s h i o n , m a k i n g t h e b e s t p o s s i b l e u s e s o f t h e l a n d . However, g r o w t h i n C a l g a r y was n o t b a s e d on a r i g i d e x a m i n a t i o n o f a l l t h e l a n d - u s e a l t e r n a t i v e s ; u r b a n e x p a n s i o n d i d n o t o c c u r i n a r a t i o n a l c o m p r e h e n s i v e manner. D e s p i t e t h e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f a p o t e n t i a l c o n f l i c t b etween s u r f a c e and s u b s u r f a c e u s e s o f t h e l a n d i n n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y o v e r t e n y e a r s ago, t h e C i t y o f C a l g a r y , b e i n g r e s p o n s i b l e f o r p l a n n i n g w i t h i n i t s m u n i c i p a l b o u n d a r i e s , g e n e r a l l y d i s r e g a r d e d t h e s o u r g a s i n d u s t r y o p e r a t i n g o u t s i d e n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y . The C i t y f a i l e d t o d e v e l o p any e f f e c t i v e p o l i c i e s t o p r e v e n t t h e v i s i b l e e n c r o a c h m e n t o f h e a v i l y p o p u l a t e d a r e a s upon a w e l l known and a c t i v e s o u r g a s f i e l d ( L a n d Use and S o u r Gas,  O k o t o k s - H i g h R i v e ^ , 1983, p. 2 9 ) . The C i t y was n o t f u l f i l l i n g i t s c o r p o r a t e s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f e n s u r i n g t h e p r e s e n t and f u t u r e w e l l - b e i n g o f i t s c i t i z e n r y . - 68 -The o i l and gas i n d u s t r y was t h e s t i m u l u s t o C a l g a r y ' s boom and g r o w t h e x p l o s i o n d u r i n g t h e 1970s and e a r l y 1 9 8 0 s . D u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d t h e s o u r gas i n d u s t r y had been s u c c e s s f u l l y o p e r a t i n g i n t h e p r o v i n c e f o r n e a r l y 60 y e a r s , and o u t s i d e n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y s i n c e 1961. B e c a u s e t h e s o u r g a s i n d u s t r y had n e v e r c a u s e d a p u b l i c f a t a l i t y and b e c a u s e A l b e r t a d i d n o t e n d u r e a m a j o r s o u r gas a c c i d e n t u n t i l 1982, o i l and g a s meant p o s i t i v e b e n e f i t s t o C a l g a r i a n s , and t h e i n d u s t r y was d i f f i c u l t t o i m a g i n e as p o t e n t i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r n e g a t i v e i n f l u e n c e s . I n A l b e r t a t h e r e were no p r o v i n c e w i d e s c a r s o f l o g g i n g o r w a s t e heaps o f mine t a i l i n g s l e f t b e h i n d , n o r were t h e r e any T r a i l ' s o r S u d b u r y ' s ; r a t h e r t h e l i n g e r i n g s y m b o l s o f h y d r o c a r b o n energy, d e v e l o p m e n t s were t h e h i g h r i s e o f f i c e b u i l d i n g s o f downtown C a l g a r y . The C i t y o f C a l g a r y became so i n v o l v e d i n i t s s u b d i v i s i o n d e v e l o p m e n t s , a n n e x a t i o n s , and r a p i d g r o w t h t h a t i t d i d n o t seem t o c o n s i d e r t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f an e c o n o m i c slowdown i n t h e o i l and g a s i n d u s t r y . P l a n n i n g p o l i c i e s l i k e t h e B a l a n c e d Growth S t r a t e g y s o u g h t t o m a i n t a i n a 30 y e a r s u p p l y o f l a n d s t o meet t h e C i t y ' s " c o n t i n u i n g " g r o w t h n e e d s . When t h e p e t r o l e u m slump d i d o c c u r , C a l g a r y was c o n f r o n t e d w i t h t h e r e s u l t s o f i t s r a p i d u r b a n development', h a l f d e v e l o p e d s u b d i v i s i o n s and u n w a r r a n t e d a n n e x a t i o n s a b u t t i n g s o u r g a s o p e r a t i o n s . However, t h e C i t y o f C a l g a r y , and t o a l e s s e r e x t e n t - 69 -some o f t h e n e a r b y m u n i c i p a l i t i e s , c o n t i n u e d t o i n t e n s i f y t h e l a n d u s e c o n f l i c t by p r o p o s i n g and a p p r o v i n g u r b a n and r e s i d e n t i a l d e v e l o p m e n t i n t h e v i c i n i t y o f s o u r gas r e s e r v e s . T h e s e e v e n t s c o n t i n u e d t o o c c u r n o t o n l y a f t e r t h e p e t r o l e u m i n d u s t r y d e c l i n e i n t h e autumn o f 1980, b u t a f t e r t h e L o d g e p o l e b l o w o u t i n t h e f a l l o f 1982 as w e l l , and e v e n a f t e r t h e c u r r e n t C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l c o n t r o v e r s y b e g a n i n t h e summer o f 1984. F o r e x a m p l e , p r e l i m i n a r y a p p r o v a l was g i v e n t o a m o b i l e home p a r k p r o j e c t i n t h e B u r l i n g t o n s u b d i v i s i o n , t h e a r e a c l o s e s t t o t h e o r i g i n a l p r o p o s e d s o u r gas w e l l , b e c a u s e t h e a p p l i c a t i o n f e l l w i t h i n m u n i c i p a l l a n d - u s e g u i d e l i n e s and t h e p r e s e n c e o f s o u r g a s was t h e r e f o r e deemed not t o be a p l a n n i n g m a t t e r - ( C a l g a r y  Sun, O c t o b e r 28, 1984, p . 1 0 ) . In a n o t h e r i n s t a n c e , j u s t n o r t h o f C a l g a r y , p l a n n i n g g u i d e l i n e s o f s a f e s o u r gas s e t b a c k d i s t a n c e s were r e l a x e d so t h a t a p r i v a t e home c o u l d be b u i l t n e x t d o o r t o a L e v e l 4 s o u r gas p i p e l i n e ( i . e . , t h e most d a n g e r o u s l e v e l ) ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d O c t o b e r 23, 1985, p. A 1 9 ) . In t h e s e and s i m i l a r r e q u e s t s , t h e ERCB's o p p o r t u n i t y t o i n p u t i n t o t h e l a n d d e v e l o p m e n t d e c i s i o n m a k i n g i s l i m i t e d t o r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s t o t h e p r o p o s a l . C o m p r e h e n s i v e l a n d d e v e l o p m e n t d e c i s i o n s n e a r s o u r gas f a c i l i t i e s have r e m a i n e d o u t s i d e t h e ERCB's mandate. B e c a u s e s o u r gas d e v e l o p m e n t and u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t went t h e i r own ways, - 70 -r e g u l a t i n g t h e m s e l v e s , t h e r e was a l a c k o f e f f e c t i v e c o m m u n i c a t i o n between t h e two e n t i t i e s , and a c o l l i s i o n was i n e v i t a b l e . C l e a r l y t h e l a c k o f a c o o r d i n a t e d p o l i c y t o make d e c i s i o n s on u r b a n d e v e l o p m e n t - s o u r g a s d e v e l o p m e n t s has c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e r i s k p r o b l e m c o n f r o n t i n g n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y t o d a y . P l a n s f o r more open s p a c e s between s o u r gas w e l l s and r e s i d e n t i a l a r e a s ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J a n u a r y 5, 1985, p. B6) o r a c o m p l e t e c l o s u r e o f t h e s o u r gas i n d u s t r y o u t s i d e n o r t h e a s t C a l g a r y ( T h e F i n a n c i a l P o s t M a g a z i n e , May 1, 1985, p. 28) r e p r e s e n t one v i e w o f r e s o l u t i o n a l t e r n a t i v e s b u t t o e f f e c t i v e l y a d d r e s s and manage t h e p r o b l e m s o f s o u r g a s , a l l v i e w s must be e v a l u a t e d . The f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r w i l l i n t r o d u c e t h e u n c e r t a i n t i e s i n v o l v e d i n s u c c e s s f u l l y d r i l l i n g s o u r gas w e l l s ; u n c e r t a i n t i e s t h a t e m p h a s i z e t h e need f o r s p e c i f i c and i n - d e p t h k n o w l e d g e o f r i s k p r o b l e m s , and t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s o f a c q u i r i n g t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n . - 71 -CHAPTER 3 UNCERTAINTIES AND RISKS IN SOUR GAS DEVELOPMENT 3.1 I n t r o d u c t i o n The o b j e c t i v e o f any p e t r o l e u m company engaged i n e x p l o r a t i o n f o r o i l and g a s i s t o s u c c e s s f u l l y e x t r a c t t h e f i n a n c i a l l y o p t i m a l amount o f h y d r o c a r b o n r e s e r v e s f r o m t h e p e n e t r a t e d s u b t e r r a n e a n f o r m a t i o n . W h i l e A l b e r t a ' s e x p e r i e n c e i n d r i l l i n g o i l and gas w e l l s s i n c e t h e e a r l y p a r t o f t h e c e n t u r y and d a t a f r o m g e o l o g i c a l a n a l o g y c a n p r o v i d e a d e g r e e o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f what t o e x p e c t i n a p a r t i c u l a r w e l l , t h e u n i q u e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s a c c o m p a n y i n g e a c h w e l l t o be d r i l l e d i n t h e p r o v i n c e , c r e a t e an e l e m e n t o f u n c e r t a i n t y i n a c c o m p l i s h i n g t h i s g o a l . F o r s o u r gas w e l l o p e r a t i o n s , t h e r e a r e t h r e e p r i m a r y a r e a s o f u n c e r t a i n t y p r e s e n t i n t h e d r i l l i n g o f a w e l l . T h e s e a r e as f o l l o w s : 1. U n c e r t a i n t y o f e n g i n e e r e d d r i l l i n g s y s t e m s f u n c t i o n i n g i n c o m p l e x s u b s u r f a c e g e o l o g i c a l f o r m a t i o n s ; 2 . U n c e r t a i n t y r e l a t e d t o t h e human f a c t o r s i n v o l v e d i n t h e d r i l l i n g o p e r a t i o n ; and 3 . U n c e r t a i n t y i n t h e t o x i c i t y and o t h e r h e a l t h e f f e c t s o f H 2 S . T h i s c h a p t e r w i l l d i s c u s s t h e s e a s p e c t s o f u n c e r t a i n t y and - 72 -e s t a b l i s h t h e i r r e l e v a n c e t o t h e c u r r e n t a p p l i c a t i o n by C a n a d i a n O c c i d e n t a l P e t r o l e u m L t d . 3 . 2 D r i l l i n g Systems and Associated Dncertainties U s i n g e n g i n e e r e d s y s t e m s t o d r i l l w e l l s i n t o t h e s u r f a c e o f t h e e a r t h i n s e a r c h o f h y d r o c a r b o n s i s a t e c h n o l o g y t h a t c o n t i n u e s t o i m p r o v e . However t h e most f e a r e d and most c o s t l y o p e r a t i o n a l h a z a r d r e l a t e d t o d r i l l i n g a w e l l p e r s i s t s : a w e l l b l o w o u t o r c o m p l e t e l o s s o f c o n t r o l o v e r t h e w e l l ' s f o r m a t i o n p r e s s u r e s , r e s u l t i n g i n r e l e a s e o f g a s e s a n d / o r l i q u i d s t o t h e s u r f a c e . B e c a u s e o f t h e t o x i c p r o p e r t i e s o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e , an u n c o n t r o l l e d r e l e a s e o f s o u r n a t u r a l gas t o t h e a t m o s p h e r e i s t h e most c r i t i c a l t y p e o f b l o w o u t . D r i l l i n g t o f i n d and p r o d u c e o i l and gas i n A l b e r t a i s a c c o m p l i s h e d u s i n g a r o t a r y d r i l l i n g r i g s y s t e m as i l l u s t r a t e d i n F i g u r e 2 on t h e f o l l o w i n g p a g e . The f i r s t deep w e l l d r i l l i n g r i g e m bodying a l l t h e p r i n c i p l e s o f t h e modern d r i l l i n g r i g was d e v e l o p e d a t S p i n d l e t o p , T e x a s i n 1900 ( H a z l e t t , R., 1 9 5 4 ) . O t h e r t h a n r o u t i n e i n t e r u p t i o n s and m a i n t e n a n c e , d r i l l i n g a w e l l i s . a c o n t i n u o u s , 24 h o u r p e r day p r o c e s s , day a f t e r day, u n t i l e i t h e r t o t a l d e p t h i s a c h i e v e d o r a w e l l p r o b l e m h a l t s d r i l l i n g . The e s s e n c e o f t h e p r o c e s s o f r o t a r y d r i l l i n g a w e l l i n v o l v e s r o t a t i o n o f t h e d r i l l p i p e i n t h e h o l e and t h e - 72a -- 73 -d r i l l b i t on t h e w e l l b o r e b o t t o m , w i t h s u c c e s s i v e a d d i t i o n s , o f p i e c e s o r j o i n t s o f d r i l l p i p e as t h e d r i l l i n g p r o g r e s s e s . The d r i l l p i p e i s o f t e n removed f r o m t h e h o l e ( i . e . , t r i p p i n g o u t ) t o change a d u l l d r i l l b i t , and r e - e n t e r s t h e w e l l by r u n n i n g i n t h e d r i l l p i p e t o t h e w e l l b o r e b o t t o m t o resume d r i l l i n g . The h o l e i s d r i l l e d by s i m u l t a n e o u s a p p l i c a t i o n o f downward f o r c e and t o r q u e t o t h e b i t . When d r i l l i n g t h e w e l l , t h e a n g l e t h a t t h e w e l l b o r e t a k e s i s d i r e c t i o n a l l y c o n t r o l l e d by p e r f o r m i n g e i t h e r m a n u a l w i r e l i n e o r c o m p u t e r i z e d d e v i a t i o n s u r v e y s , and a l t e r i n g t h e w e i g h t on t h e b i t a c c o r d i n g l y , o r i n s t a l l i n g s p . e c i a l b e n t h o u s i n g , a s s e m b l i e s and s t a b i l i z e r s j u s t a b o v e t h e b i t on t h e n e x t t r i p o u t o f t h e h o l e . By c o n t r o l l i n g t h e a n g l e o f t h e w e l l , t h e w e l l o p e r a t o r i s a b l e t o d r i l l i n t o t h e f o r m a t i o n where t h e h y d r o c a r b o n s a r e t h o u g h t t o be. As a w e l l becomes more a n g l e d , t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s o f d r i l l i n g t h e w e l l i n c r e a s e . Some w e l l s assume s u c h an a n g l e , o r s e r i e s o f a n g l e s , t h a t t h e i r b ends r e s e m b l e , and a r e r e f e r r e d t o a s , " d o g - l e g s . " The d e p t h o f t h e w e l l s d r i l l e d i n A l b e r t a r a n g e f r o m l e s s t h a n 1,000 m e t r e s t o o v e r 5,000 m e t r e s , o r 3 m i l e s i n d e p t h . S i m i l a r t o an i n c r e a s e d a n g l e i n t h e w e l l , as t h e d e p t h o f t h e w e l l i n c r e a s e s , and f a i r l y s u b s t a n t i a l l y f o r d e p t h s g r e a t e r t h a n 3,000 m e t r e s , t h e r i s k o f a w e l l c o n t r o l - 74 -p r o b l e m a l s o i n c r e a s e s ( B e r c h a , 1983, p. 4.7; R e f e r t o F i g u r e 3 ) . The l e n g t h o f t i m e i t t a k e s t o d r i l l a w e l l can v a r y f r o m a m a t t e r o f d a y s t o o v e r one y e a r , d e p e n d i n g on t h e w e l l d e p t h and any p r o b l e m s e n c o u n t e r e d . W h i l e d r i l l i n g , d r i l l i n g f l u i d o r mud i s c o n t i n u o u s l y c i r c u l a t e d t h r o u g h t h e p i p e s t r i n g , o u t t h r o u g h t h e d r i l l b i t , and b a c k up t h e s i d e s o f t h e w e l l h o l e t o t h e s u r f a c e ( F i g u r e 4 ) . At s u r f a c e , t h e d r i l l i n g mud f l u i d i s h e l d i n t h e mud t a n k , c l e a n e d and t r e a t e d w i t h w a t e r , c h e m i c a l s a r e a d d e d , and when r e q u i r e d , w e i g h t e d m a t e r i a l s , t o r e t a i n t h e p r o p e r t i e s n e c e s s a r y t o s u c c e s s f u l l y d r i l l t h e w e l l . Once c l e a n e d and t r e a t e d , t h e d r i l l i n g mud i s r e - c i r c u l a t e d t h r o u g h t h e s y s t e m . The f u n c t i o n s o f t h e d r i l l i n g f l u i d i n c l u d e r e m o v a l o f f o r m a t i o n c u t t i n g s f r o m t h e w e l l b o r e , l u b r i c a t i n g t h e d r i l l b i t , c l e a n i n g t h e b o t t o m o f t h e h o l e , s l i c k i n g t h e s i d e s o f t h e w e l l , and most i m p o r t a n t l y c o u n t e r a c t i n g d ownhole f o r m a t i o n p r e s s u r e s , t h e r e b y p r e v e n t i n g b l o w o u t s . The e s s e n t i a l c o n c e p t o f t h e mud c i r c u l a t i o n p r o c e d u r e i s t o c r e a t e and m a i n t a i n a c o n s t a n t b o t t o m h o l e p r e s s u r e a t a v a l u e somewhat h i g h e r t h a n p e n e t r a t e d f o r m a t i o n p r e s s u r e s , t h e r e b y a l l o w i n g t h e w e i g h t o f t h e d r i l l i n g mud t o h o l d t h e g a s i n p l a c o clown b e l o w . T h i s d e n i e s an i n f l u x o f f o r m a t i o n f l u i d s o r g a s e s t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o blow f r o m t h e w e l l i n an u n c o n t r o l l e d manner. G e o l o g i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n o f p r e v i o u s - 75 -w e l l s i n t h e a r e a and w e l l s d r i l l e d i n t o t h e same f o r m a t i o n e l s e w h e r e , p r o v i d e t h e o i l i n d u s t r y w i t h t h e e x p e r t i s e t o c a l c u l a t e what f o r m a t i o n p r e s s u r e s a r e l i k e l y t o be e n c o u n t e r e d . However u n t i l t h e "pay z o n e " f o r m a t i o n ( e . g . where t h e h y d r o c a r b o n s a r e l o c a t e d ) i s p e n e t r a t e d and t e s t e d by o i l f i e l d s p e c i a l i s t s , t h e e x a c t u n d e r g r o u n d f o r m a t i o n p r e s s u r e i n a p a r t i c u l a r w e l l i s unknown. Well Control Problems W e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m s c o n s i s t o f c l o s e l y l i n k e d e v e n t s i n t h a t a m i n o r d i f f i c u l t y may u l t i m a t e l y l e a d t o a m a j o r a c c i d e n t . A p r o b l e m may b e g i n when t h e w e i g h t o f t h e d r i l l i n g mud i s no l o n g e r s u f f i c i e n t t o keep down t h e f o r m a t i o n f l u i d o r gas p r e s s u r e s t h a t may be p r e s e n t i n t h e w e l l . I t i s n o t f e a s i b l e t o s i m p l y u s e h e a v y , d e n s e mud t o p r e v e n t t h i s p r o b l e m b e c a u s e t h e u s e o f t o o heavy a mud c r e a t e s a n o t h e r s e t o f p r o b l e m s w h i c h may i n t u r n , r e s u l t i n a b l o w o u t . T h e s e p r o b l e m s a r e as f o l l o w s : 1. F r a c t u r i n g o f t h e f o r m a t i o n , l e a d i n g t o l o s t c i r c u l a t i o n ( R e f e r t o F i g u r e 5); 2. O b s t r u c t i o n o f t h e r o t a r y m o t i o n o f t h e p i p e i n t h e h o l e , p o s s i b l y l e a d i n g t o t h e d r i l l p i p e b e c o m i n g s t u c k i n t h e h o l e ; and, 3. R e d u c t i o n i n p e n e t r a t i o n r a t e s . The c h a l l e n g e o f any d r i l l i n g p r o g r a m t h e r e f o r e , i s t o f i n d t h e o p t i m a l mud w e i g h t t o c o u n t e r a c t f o r m a t i o n - 76 -p r e s s u r e s b u t t o f a c i l i t a t e e f f i c i e n t d r i l l i n g . T h u s , i n a d r i l l i n g p r o g r a m , o p t i m a l mud w e i g h t s a r e r e l a t i v e l y c l o s e t o , b u t b a r e l y e x c e e d i n g f o r m a t i o n p r e s s u r e s ( R e f e r t o F i g u r e 6 ) , p r o v i d i n g a r e a l p o s s i b i l i t y f o r a p r o b l e m t o o c c u r i f an u n e x p e c t e d p r e s s u r i z e d zone i s e n c o u n t e r e d . P e r h a p s t h e most v i v i d e x a m p l e o f a w e l l e n c o u n t e r i n g p r o b l e m s as a r e s u l t o f i n c o m p l e t e g e o l o g i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n i s M o b i l O i l C a n a d a Ltd.'.s t r o u b l e s o m e West V e n t u r e N-91 g a s w e l l , two k i l o m e t e r s n o r t h o f S a b l e I s l a n d , o f f t h e Nova S c o t i a c o a s t i n S e p t e m b e r , 1984 ( T h e F i n a n c i a l P o s t , A p r i l 13, 1985, p. 3 3 ) . The w e l l p e n e t r a t e d an a b n o r m a l l y h i g h p r e s s u r e f o r m a t i o n b u t t h e r i g ' s b l o w o u t p r e v e n t i o n e q u i p m e n t q u i c k l y c o n t a i n e d t h e g a s . However, t h e p r e s s u r e was so g r e a t w i t h i n t h e w e l l t h a t i t began e s c a p i n g i n t o t h e a d j a c e n t r o c k f o r m a t i o n s and s u b s u r f a c e l o s s o f c o n t r o l o v e r t h e w e l l c o n t i n u e d f o r n i n e months, a t an e s t i m a t e d c o s t o f $167.7 m i l l i o n ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J u n e 22, 1985, p. E 3 ) . The w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d i t s e l f as one o f t h e l o n g e s t , most d i f f i c u l t and most e x p e n s i v e c o r r e c t i v e a c t i o n s e v e r c o n d u c t e d on an o i l o r g a s w e l l . The w e l l was p e r m a n e n t l y p l u g g e d a f t e r n e a r l y 1,000 b a r r e l s o f heavy mud and cement were pumped down t h e h o l e ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J u n e 22, 1985, p . E 3 ) . When f o r m a t i o n f l u i d s o r g a s e s b e g i n t o f l o w i n t o a w e l l b o r e , t h e c o n d i t i o n i s known as a k i c k (A D i c t i o n a r y o f - 77 -P e t r o l e u m Terms, U n i v e r s i t y o f T e x a s a t A u s t i n , 1980; R e f e r t o F i g u r e 7 ) . I t i s n o t a h i g h l y u n u s u a l o c c u r r e n c e i n t h e d r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y and d e v e l o p s w i t h a p r e d i c t a b l e s e q u e n c e o f e v e n t s , w h i l e e x h i b i t i n g s e v e r a l v i s i b l e w a r n i n g s i g n s o f i t s o c c u r r e n c e . The f o r m a t i o n m a t e r i a l s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a k i c k c a n be o i l , g a s , w a t e r o r a c o m b i n a t i o n o f t h e s e . T h e r e a r e s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n t h e p r e s s u r e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h g a s and l i q u i d k i c k s w i t h gas k i c k s b e i n g t h e most d a n g e r o u s b e c a u s e o f c o m p r e s s i b i l i t y and v o l a t i l i t y p r o p e r t i e s o f g a s ( B l o w o u t s : W e l l C o n t r o l I n s u r a n c e and R i s k  Management, B r i t i s h A m e r i c a n C o r p o r a t i o n , 1982, p. 1 3 5 ) . U n l e s s t h e k i c k i s c o n t r o l l e d by c i r c u l a t i n g o u t t h e g a s , t h e t r e m e n d o u s p r e s s u r e t h a t may b u i l d up i n t h e w e l l w i t h i n a few h o u r s c a n l e a d t o t h e t o t a l u n c o n t r o l l e d r e l e a s e o f g a s t o t h e a t m o s p h e r e . Once t h e gas w e l l i s f l o w i n g o u t o f c o n t r o l , t h e f l u i d i n e r t i a i n t h e a c c e l e r a t i n g mud c o l u m n i s c o m p a r a b l e t o t h e momentum o f a f u l l y l o a d e d f r e i g h t t r a i n m o v i ng a l o n g a r a i l w a y t r a c k a t h i g h s p e e d ( B e r c h a , 1983, p. 3 . 1 7 ) . B e c a u s e a k i c k warns o f an i m p e n d i n g b l o w o u t , t h e p r e v e n t i o n o r t o t a l c o n t r o l o f k i c k s i s t h e most r e l i a b l e means o f p r e v e n t i n g b l o w o u t s . The d r i l l e d w e l l b o r e and mud v o lume a r e a c l o s e d c i r c u l a t i n g s y s t e m , w i t h mud b e i n g pumped i n t o t h e w e l l as mud i s f l o w e d f r o m t h e w e l l i n t o t h e mud t a n k s . Any a d d i t i o n o r i n f l u x o f f o r m a t i o n m a t e r i a l t o t h e s y s t e m w i l l - 78 -r e v e a l i t s e l f as a change i n t h e f l u i d - f l o w r a t e b a c k t o t h e s u r f a c e and s u b s e q u e n t l y , an i n c r e a s e i n t o t a l v o l u m e . A r a p i d c h a n g e i n t h e r a t e o f d r i l l i n g o r a " d r i l l i n g b r e a k " and v a r i a t i o n i n mud c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a r e a l s o i n d i c a t i v e o f a p r e s e n c e o f i n t r u d i n g f o r m a t i o n f l u i d s o r g a s e s . W h i l e t h e s e i n c i d e n t s r e v e a l t h a t t r o u b l e i n t h e f o r m o f a k i c k i s p e n d i n g i n t h e w e l l , t h e s h o r t t i m e p e r i o d i n w h i c h t h e y r e v e a l t h e m s e l v e s b e f o r e t h e b l o w o u t o c c u r s [ e . g . , a p p r o x i m a t e l y 3 h o u r s f o r t h e L o d g e p o l e b l o w o u t (ERCB  L o d g e p o l e R e p o r t , D84-9, F i g u r e 3 . 3 ) ] , s o m e t i m e s c a u s e s i n a t t e n t i v e w e l l p e r s o n n e l o r p o o r l y t r a i n e d c r e w s n o t t o r e c o g n i z e t h e w a r n i n g s i g n s . The t e c h n i c a l c a u s e s o f l o s s o f . c o n t r o l o v e r f o r m a t i o n p r e s s u r e s f a l l i n t o two c a t e g o r i e s , i m p r o p e r mud c o n t r o l and i n a p p r o p r i a t e s u r f a c e c o n t r o l p r o c e d u r e s ( R e f e r t o A p p e n d i x 5 ) . The b i g g e s t c o n t r i b u t o r i n t h e f a i l u r e t o c o n t r o l k i c k s however, i s human e r r o r , e i t h e r d i r e c t l y t h r o u g h t h e e x e c u t i o n o f i n c o r r e c t w e l l c o n t r o l r e s p o n s e t a c t i c s , o r i n d i r e c t l y , t h r o u g h o p e r a t o r i n d u c e d e q u i p m e n t f a i l u r e s (ERCB L o d g e p o l e B l o w o u t R e p o r t , D84-9, p . 5 . 2 6 ) . The p r i m a r y s t e p i n c o n t r o l l i n g a k i c k i s s h u t t i n g i n t h e w e l l m e c h a n i c a l l y w i t h t h e h y d r a u l i c a l l y o p e r a t e d B l o w o u t P r e v e n t o r (BOP) a s s e m b l y w h i c h i s s i t u a t e d a t t h e w e l l h e a d , b e n e a t h t h e s u b s t r u c t u r e o f t h e d r i l l i n g r i g . E s s e n t i a l l y t h e BOPs c o n s i s t o f a s e r i e s o f l a r g e , - 79 -h i g h - p r e s s u r e v a l v e s . By m e c h a n i c a l l y s e a l i n g o f f t h e w e l l , t h e h o l e i s t e m p o r a r i l y s t a b i l i z e d so t h a t e f f o r t s can b e g i n t o i n c r e a s e t h e d ownhole p r e s s u r e by c i r c u l a t i o n o f a h e a v i e r mud t h a n was i n t h e w e l l p r e v i o u s l y . As t h e h e a v y mud i s pumped down t h e d r i l l p i p e , b o t t o m h o l e p r e s s u r e i n c r e a s e s and f o r m a t i o n f l u i d s c e a s e coming i n t o t h e w e l l b o r e . The gas a l r e a d y i n t h e w e l l c a n t h e n be c i r c u l a t e d t o t h e s u r f a c e u n d e r c o n t r o l l e d c o n d i t i o n s . A f t e r t h e w e l l i s t h o r o u g h l y c i r c u l a t e d , c a u t i o u s d r i l l i n g c a n p r o c e e d a t a s l o w e r p e n e t r a t i o n r a t e and w i t h h e a v i e r d r i l l i n g mud ( P e r s o n a l work e x p e r i e n c e k n o w l e d g e a c q u i r e d w h i l e e m p l o y e d on s o u r n a t u r a l g a s w e l l d r i l l i n g r i g s ) . The L o d g e p o l e B l o w o u t I n q u i r y P a n e l r e c o n s t r u c t e d t h e e v e n t s t h a t l e d t o t h e i n i t i a l k i c k i n t h e L o d g e p o l e w e l l and d e t e r m i n e d t h a t d e f i c i e n t d r i l l i n g p r a c t i c e s and t h e m a r g i n a l l y a d e q u a t e mud d e n s i t y b e i n g u s e d , p e r m i t t e d t h e e n t r y o f r e s e r v o i r f l u i d s i n t o t h e w e l l b o r e ( L o d g e p o l e  B l o w o u t R e p o r t , 1984, p . 1 - 2 ) . The P a n e l a l s o c o n c l u d e d t h a t t h e k i c k was l i k e l y n o t c o n t r o l l e d b e c a u s e , 1. The d r i l l i n g crew d i d n o t i m m e d i a t e l y r e c o g n i z e t h e p r o b l e m and t h e r e f o r e d i d n o t i m m e d i a t e l y a p p l y and m a i n t a i n s t a n d a r d k i c k c o n t r o l p r o c e d u r e s ; 2. S e v e r a l p i e c e s o f v i t a l e q u i p m e n t d i d not f u n c t i o n p r o p e r l y ; and, 3. S u p p l i e s o f m i x e d d r i l l i n g mud were not a d e q u a t e d u r i n g k i c k - c o n t r o l o p e r a t i o n s . - 80 -Kicks, such as that at Lodgepole, which are unresponsive to i n i t i a l control e f f o r t s , or are i n c o r r e c t l y handled, may continue u n t i l the rate of flow of formation f l u i d s into the wellbore becomes so extreme that t h e i r pressure can no longer be contained by the d r i l l i n g mud and/or pressure control equipment, and they begin to vent to the atmosphere. As soon as t h i s occurs, loss of control of the well has t e c h n i c a l l y taken place, and a blowout i s in progress. Highly trained well control personnel are then required to " k i l l " ( i . e . , regain control of) the well. Blowouts which are r e l a t i v e l y quickly brought under control are known as minor blowouts, while ones which continue to flow uncontrolled for extended periods of time, threatening human l i f e and the environment are for the purposes of t h i s study, what i s referred to when blowouts are discussed. Regaining control of a sour gas well blowout may be achieved in one of two ways: 1 . Capping the well by i n s t a l l i n g a new Blowout Preventer assembly on the damaged wellhead, while the well i s e i t h e r discharging raw sour gas or i s burning as a r e s u l t of i g n i t i o n of the gas flow; 2. D r i l l i n g an adjacent " r e l i e f " well to int e r s e c t the blowout well and r e l i e v e i t s pressure. The immediacy of the problem of a sour gas well blowout, e s p e c i a l l y when public safety or the environment i s - 81 -a t r i s k , c o m p e l s most b l o w o u t s i t u a t i o n s t o be r e s o l v e d by t h e f o r m e r method. D r i l l i n g r e l i e f w e l l s c a n t a k e c o n s i d e r a b l e l e n g t h s o f t i m e and no a s s u r a n c e i s p r o v i d e d t h a t t h e r e l i e f w e l l w i l l n o t become a b l o w o u t v i c t i m as w e l l . The w i l d w e l l c a p p i n g t e c h n i q u e o f p l a c i n g a new B l o w o u t P r e v e n t o r on t h e damaged w e l l head i s c o m p l i c a t e d by two f a c t o r s , d e p e n d i n g upon w h e t h e r t h e w e l l i s e m i t t i n g H2S o r i s on f i r e . The f i r s t c o m p l i c a t i o n r e l a t e s t o t h e e x t r e m e l e t h a l i t y o f t h e H2S s p e w i n g f r o m t h e w e l l h e a d where t h e w i l d w e l l c o n t r o l s p e c i a l i s t s must work. Even though-s p e c i a l a i r s u p p l y b r e a t h i n g e q u i p m e n t i s u s e d , a s m a l l p u n c t u r e i n an a i r l i n e o r a bump i n t h e f a c e mask, c o u l d p r o d u c e a b r i e f e x p o s u r e t o H 2 S and r e s u l t i n i n s t a n t a n e o u s d e a t h . The s e c o n d c o m p l i c a t i n g f a c t o r i s t h e e x t r e m e h e a t o f up t o 1,000° C e l s i u s ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , December 5, 1982, p. F l ) t h a t may be p r e s e n t n e a r t h e w e l l h e a d i f t h e w e l l f l o w i s i g n i t e d . E v i d e n c e a t t h e L o d g e p o l e B l o w o u t I n q u i r y i n d i c a t e d t h a t p r i o r t o L o d g e p o l e , s u c c e s s f u l l y t a m i n g a b l o w o u t w h i l e i t was on f i r e , had been a c c o m p l i s h e d o n l y s i x t i m e s i n t h e w o r l d b e f o r e (ERCB L o d g e p o l e B l o w o u t R e p o r t , Summary and Recommendations f o r R e p o r t 84-9, C a l g a r y , A l b e r t a , December, 1984, p. 3; R e f e r t o F i g u r e 8 ) . C a p p i n g b l o w o u t s , o r d r i l l i n g a d j a c e n t w e l l s , and t h e i r a s s o c i a t e d w e l l c o n t r o l p r o c e d u r e s a r e h i g h l y c o m p l ex, - 82 -t e c h n i c a l and c o n t r o v e r s i a l o p e r a t i o n s . V e r y few b a s i c r u l e s a r e u n i v e r s a l l y a c c e p t e d by t h e e x p e r t s due t o t h e u n i q u e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f e v e r y w e l l and b l o w o u t . P a t C a m p b e l l , a w e l l - c a p p i n g e x p e r t w i t h t h e famous H o u s t o n - b a s e d B o o t s and C o o t s I n c . d e s c r i b e d h i s work a s , I t ' s a s p e c i a l i z e d f i e l d , one where one m i s t a k e i s d e a d l y . But we d o n ' t make m i s t a k e s . ( V a n c o u v e r Sun, F e b r u a r y 27, 1984, p. A12) F o r t u n a t e l y , t h e s t a t e o f t h e a r t i n c o n t r o l l i n g w e l l b l o w o u t s has a d v a n c e d i n A l b e r t a b e y o n d t h e t e c h n i q u e s e m p l o y e d i n P o l a n d i n 1980, when a n a t u r a l gas w e l l b l o w o u t b u r n e d f o r 1-9 d a y s b e f o r e s e r i o u s e f f o r t s were put f o r w a r d t o tame t h e w e l l . The E a s t e r n B l o c c o u n t r y , w i t h a s s i s t a n c e f r o m S o v i e t t r o o p s , b l a s t e d t h e r e m n a n t s o f t h e b u r n e d d r i l l i n g r i g w i t h a n t i - a i r c r a f t a r t i l l e r y , w h i c h s u b s e q u e n t l y c a u s e d t h e w e l l t o b r i d g e o v e r ( i . e . , s e a l o f f t h e u n c o n t r o l l e d r e l e a s e ) (New Y o r k T i m e s , December 29, 1980, p. 8 ) . DRILLING EQUIPMENT The most e f f i c i e n t and e f f e c t i v e r i s k management a c t i o n s t h a t c a n be t a k e n t o a v o i d a c c i d e n t s i n a h a z a r d o u s i n d u s t r i a l o p e r a t i o n a r e p r e v e n t a t i v e ( R i s k Management, - 83 -J u n e , 1985, p. 2 2 - 2 4 ) . P r e v e n t a t i v e a c t i o n s i n c l u d e b o t h t h e t e c h n i c a l ( d e s i g n , m a i n t e n a n c e , q u a l i t y c o n t r o l , and h o u s e k e e p i n g ) and t h e human ( t r a i n i n g , m o t i v a t i o n , p h y s i c a l and m e n t a l w e l l - b e i n g , i n s t r u c t i o n s , and w a r n i n g s ) . In a r i s k y a c t i v i t y l i k e d r i l l i n g H2S w e l l s , t h e amount and e x t e n t o f p r e v e n t a t i v e a c t i o n s c a n make t h e d i f f e r e n c e i n w h e t h e r o r n o t u n d e s i r e d e v e n t s l i k e a w e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m w i l l o c c u r , and i f s o , w h e t h e r t h e i n c i d e n t w i l l become a m i n o r a c c i d e n t o r d e v e l o p i n t o an u n c o n t r o l l e d b l o w o u t . S u b s e q u e n t d i s c u s s i o n i n t h i s s e c t i o n w i l l a d d r e s s t h e t e c h n i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s o f p r e v e n t a t i v e a c t i o n s t o e n s u r e t h e s a f e o p e r a t i o n o f s o u r g a s w e l l d r i l l i n g e q u i p m e n t . E a c h o f t h e a p p r o x i m a t e l y 390 d r i l l i n g r i g s p r e s e n t l y c o n t r a c t e d t o d r i l l sweet and s o u r o i l and g a s w e l l s i n A l b e r t a ( O i l w e e k , J a n u a r y 20, 1986, p . l ) , a r e r e q u i r e d by t h e E n e r g y R e s o u r c e s C o n s e r v a t i o n B o a r d t o i n s t a l l , m a i n t a i n and c o n t r o l s t a n d a r d s a f e t y e q u i p m e n t w h i c h w i l l p r e v e n t t h e u n d e t e c t e d and c o n t i n u i n g e s c a p e o f any i n f l u x o f h y d r o c a r b o n s i n t o t h e w e l l . Due t o t h e u n i q u e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f s o u r g a s , p r o b l e m s a r e more l i k e l y t o o c c u r w h i l e d r i l l i n g a w e l l t h a t c o n t a i n s H2S t h a n a w e l l w h i c h i s n o t s o u r . The h i g h e r p r o b l e m r a t e f o r s o u r g a s w e l l s c a n be a t t r i b u t e d t o a number o f f a c t o r s : 1. B e c a u s e o f t h e c o r r o s i v e n a t u r e o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e on m e t a l s , e q u i p m e n t d e t e r i o r a t i o n u n l e s s - 84 -d e t e c t e d , i n e v i t a b l y l e a d s t o e q u i p m e n t f a i l u r e ; 2 . D e e p e r w e l l s , w h e t h e r sweet o r s o u r , e x p e r i e n c e a g r e a t e r r a t e o f d r i l l i n g p r o b l e m s , and s o u r gas i s g e n e r a l l y f o u n d o n l y i n d e e p e r f o r m a t i o n s ; 3. I n any p o t e n t i a l l y s o u r e n v i r o n m e n t , w e l l c o n t r o l p r o c e d u r e s a r e c o m p l i c a t e d by t h e need f o r d r i l l i n g c r e w s t o t a k e g r e a t e r p r e c a u t i o n s ; and, 4. The e l e m e n t o f s t r e s s p l a y s a v e r y i n f l u e n t i a l r o l e i n human e r r o r on s o u r gas w e l l d r i l l i n g r i g s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , s p e c i a l "SOUR SERVICED" e q u i p m e n t and e q u i p m e n t p r o v i s i o n s l i k e c o r r o s i v e mud i n h i b i t o r s i n t h e mud s y s t e m and e l e c t r o n i c t e s t i n g f o r m e t a l f a t i g u e i n t h e d r i l l p i p e a r e m a n d a t o r y f o r a l l s o u r gas w e l l s i n A l b e r t a . E q u i p m e n t f o r b o t h s u r f a c e and s u b s u r f a c e m o n i t o r i n g o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e i s a l s o r e q u i r e d by t h e ERCB. A t s u r f a c e , s t a t e - o f - t h e - a r t c o m p u t e r i z e d m o n i t o r s warn o f t h e p o s s i b l e p r e s e n c e o f H^S, when s p e c i f i c m i n u t e c o n c e n t r a t i o n s o f s o u r g a s a r e e x c e e d e d , o r when a w e l l i s e x h i b i t i n g s i g n s o f a k i c k . Some o f t h e m o n i t o r i n g e q u i p m e n t i n c l u d e s a m b i e n t and mud s y s t e m H^S d e t e c t o r s , and mud f l o w r a t e and mud t a n k v o lume m o n i t o r s . When H2S i s f o u n d i n t h e mud, s p e c i a l c h e m i c a l s l i k e i r o n o x i d e , w h i c h a r e known as s c a v e n g e r s , c a n remove H 2 S f r o m t h e h o l e ( J o u r n a l o f P e t r o l e u m  T e c h n o l o g y , J u n e , 1979, p . 7 9 7 - 8 0 1 ) . The t e c h n i c a l r e q u i r e m e n t s o f s o u r gas w e l l c o n t r o l e q u i p m e n t a r e v e r y s t r i n g e n t . F o r e x a m p l e , t h e B l o w o u t - 85 -P r e v e n t i o n v a l v e a s s e m b l y and " c a s i n g " must be p r e s s u r e t e s t e d a t v a r i o u s s t a g e s o f t h e d r i l l i n g p r o c e s s t o e n s u r e t h e y c a n w i t h s t a n d a p p r o x i m a t e l y t w i c e t h e amount o f t h e e x p e c t e d f o r m a t i o n p r e s u r e s i n t h e w e l l . A l t h o u g h t h e ERCB does n o t d i r e c t l y o v e r s e e a l l t e s t s t h a t a r e p e r f o r m e d on e q u i p m e n t , t h e o i l c o m p a n i e s and d r i l l i n g c o n t r a c t o r s a r e d i l i g e n t i n t h e i r c o m p l i a n c e t o w e l l c o n t r o l s t a n d a r d s . C o n s i d e r t h e f o l l o w i n g p r e s s u r e t e s t I o b s e r v e d w h i l e w o r k i n g on a s o u r gas w e l l i n J a n u a r y 1986. The i n i t i a l 200 t o 500 m e t r e s o f a s o u r g a s w e l l , r e f e r r e d t o as t h e s u r f a c e h o l e , a r e d r i l l e d and s u b s e q u e n t l y e n c l o s e d w i t h a s t r i n g o f s t e e l t u b i n g known as c a s i n g . The c a s i n g i s c e m e n t e d i n t h e h o l e b e f o r e d r i l l i n g p r o c e e d s t o t h e p r i m a r y p a r t o f t h e w e l l . The c e m e n t e d s u r f a c e c a s i n g s e r v e s as a s e c u r i t y zone between s u r f a c e and w e l l head e q u i p m e n t and s u b s u r f a c e f o r m a t i o n s . A r u l e o f thumb o f t e n u s e d i n s e l e c t i n g t h e c a s i n g s e a t d e p t h s i n H2S w e l l s i s t h a t no more t h a n 75 p e r c e n t o f t h e h o l e be u n p r o t e c t e d by c a s i n g a t any t i m e ( T h e N o r t h e r n M i n e r , May 16, 1985, p . 8 5 ) . P r e s s u r e t e s t i n g o f t h e c a s i n g and t h e b l o w o u t p r e v e n t a t i v e e q u i p m e n t i s a c r u c i a l p a r t o f t h e d r i l l i n g p r o c e s s , b u t u s u a l l y o n l y t a k e s 3 t o 6 h o u r s t o c o m p l e t e , d e p e n d i n g on t h e number o f l e a k s d e t e c t e d and how l o n g i t t a k e s t o r e p a i r them. In t h e r e f e r r e d t o i n c i d e n t however, - 86 -b e c a u s e one v a l v e would n o t s e a l p r o p e r l y , r e m e d i a l a t t e m p t s t o r e s o l v e t h e p r o b l e m t o o k n e a r l y 48 h o u r s . The o i l company's p e r s i s t e n c e t o e n s u r e t h a t t h e w e l l c o n t r o l e q u i p m e n t f u n t i o n e d p r o p e r l y was e m p h a s i z e d n o t o n l y by t h e amount o f t i m e and e x p e n s e t h a t was s p e n t r e c t i f y i n g t h e v a l v e p r o b l e m , b u t a l s o i n c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e amount o f v a l u a b l e d r i l l i n g t i m e t h a t was l o s t o r f o r e g o n e i n f a v o u r o f e n s u r i n g t h e e q u i p m e n t was s a f e . The i n i t i a l two r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s o f t h e L o d g e p o l e B l o w o u t R e p o r t (1984, p . 12-1) d e a l t s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h t h e n eed f o r s o u r gas w e l l d r i l l i n g e q u i p m e n t t o be e x a m i n e d t o e n s u r e t h a t i t i s a d e q u a t e f o r w o r s t - c a s e c o n d i t i o n s . The n eed t o examine s o u r gas w e l l d r i l l i n g e q u i p m e n t f u r t h e r was made a p p a r e n t upon r e v i e w o f t h e 1983 ERCB d r i l l i n g r i g i n s p e c t i o n r e p o r t s ( D r i l l i n g R i g I n s p e c t i o n C o m m i t t e e , f o r m e d i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h ERCB D e c i s i o n D84-5, J u n e , 1 9 8 4 ) . Of t h e 4,616 o i l and gas w e l l s d r i l l e d i n A l b e r t a i n 1983, t h e r e were 1,664 t o t a l r i g i n s p e c t i o n s p e r f o r m e d , w i t h o v e r one t h i r d ( i . e . , 560) b e i n g r e c o r d e d as u n s a t i s f a c t o r y . The C o m m i t t e e members s u b s e q u e n t l y r e v i e w e d a l l t h e u n s a t i s f a c t o r y i n s p e c t i o n s t o d e t e r m i n e w h e t h e r a " s e r i o u s " d e f i c i e n c y c o n d i t i o n e x i s t e d , where a s e r i o u s c o n d i t i o n was d e f i n e d as r e s t r i c t i n g t h e d r i l l i n g r i g c r e v , ! s a b i l i t y t o s a f e l y d e t e c t , s h u t i n t h e w e l l , a n d / o r c i r c u l a t e o u t a w e l l k i c k and m a i n t a i n c o n t r o l o f t h e w e l l ( O i l w e e k , A u g u s t 27, - 87 -1984, p. 3 2 ) . The r e s u l t s o f t h i s r e v i e w r e v e a l e d t h a t 56 p e r c e n t o f t h e u n s a t i s f a c t o r y i n s p e c t i o n s and n e a r l y 20 p e r c e n t o f a l l i n s p e c t i o n s had t h e i m p l i c i t p o t e n t i a l t o e n c o u n t e r a s e r i o u s w e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m . The most s e r i o u s e q u i p m e n t d e f i c i e n c i e s i d e n t i f i e d were c o n c l u d e d t o be d i r e c t l y a t t r i b u t a b l e t o a l a c k o f a w a r e n e s s , a t t i t u d e and m a i n t e n a n c e by t h o s e e m p l o y e d a t t h e w e l l s i t e ( D r i l l i n g R i g  I n s p e c t i o n C o m m i t t e e , 1984, p . 1 0 ) . D e s p i t e t h e s e f i n d i n g s and t h e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f human f a i l i n g s as a m a j o r c o n t r i b u t o r t o t h e L o d g e p o l e b l o w o u t , h i g h s t a n d a r d s f o r w e l l c o n t r o l e q u i p m e n t and a d h e r e n c e t o c a u t i o u s d r i l l i n g p r o c e d u r e s i n t h e c r i t i c a l R ^ S - b e a r i n g zone c o n t i n u e t o be t h e r e g u l a t o r y f o c u s o f a t t e n t i o n t o s o u r gas w e l l d r i l l e r s (A R e p o r t on an A p p l i c a t i o n by  C a n t e r r a E n e r g y L t d . t o D r i l l a C r i t i c a l S o u r W e l l i n t h e  S u n d r e A r e a , ERCB D84-28, December, 1984, p . 1 9 ) . F o r e x a m p l e , i n t h e c i t e d w e l l , t h e e x p e c t e d h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e c o n t e n t i n t h e s o u r gas was a p p r o x i m a t e l y 90 p e r c e n t , r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e h i g h e s t H2S c o n c e n t r a t i o n e v e r d r i l l e d i n t h e p r o v i n c e , and h i g h e r t h a n any s o u r gas w e l l c u r r e n t l y i n p r o d u c t i o n i n A l b e r t a (Edmonton J o u r n a l , A u g u s t 3, 1 9 8 4 ) , and p e r h a p s h i g h e r t h a n any s o u r gas w e l l d r i l l e d anywhere i n t h e w o r l d . In e f f e c t , t h e o i l company was n o t d r i l l i n g f o r n a t u r a l g a s b u t m i n i n g s u l p h u r . B e c a u s e a w e l l w i t h s u c h a h i g h H2S c o n t e n t had n e v e r been d r i l l e d b e f o r e , - 88 -u n t e s t e d t e c h n o l o g y was b e i n g e m p l o y e d . In s p i t e o f a p p e a l s by f u r i o u s l o c a l f a r m e r s n e a r t h e w e l l , who i n s i s t e d t h e y were b e i n g e x p o s e d t o d a n g e r much t h e same as g u i n e a p i g s ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , March 28, 1985, p. A 2 3 ) , t h e c o n t r o v e r s i a l s o u r gas w e l l was a p p r o v e d by t h e ERCB. F o r t u n a t e l y , a t 3,900 m e t r e s , t h e t a r g e t e d H2S z o n e , s o u r g a s was n o t f o u n d ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , November 19, 1985, p. A 1 4 ) , and t h e v a l i d i t y o f r e l y i n g on s p e c i a l w e l l c o n t r o l e q u i p m e n t and c a u t i o u s work p r a c t i c e s t o e n s u r e t h e s a f e o p e r a t i o n o f t h e w e l l , d i d n o t have t o be e v a l u a t e d . F a i t h i n t h e a b i l i t y o f e n g i n e e r e d w e l l c o n t r o l e q u i p m e n t and d r i l l i n g p r o c e d u r e s t o o v e r c o m e t h e u n c e r t a i n t i e s o f d r i l l i n g a s o u r gas w e l l u n d e r s c o r e s t h e e f f e c t t h a t o t h e r i n f l u e n c e s , l i k e a u x i l i a r y w e l l d r i l l i n g e q u i p m e n t and human i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h e q u i p m e n t and p r o c e d u r e s , may have on t h e s a f e d r i l l i n g o p e r a t i o n o f t h e w e l l . In e s s e n c e s u c h an a t t i t u d e a t t e m p t s t o make t h e s o u r g a s w e l l d r i l l i n g s y s t e m more t o l e r a b l e t o s e c o n d a r y v a r i a b l e s r a t h e r t h a n a c t u a l l y d e a l i n g w i t h why w e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m s o c c u r . W e l l c o n t r o l e q u i p m e n t i s v e r y d e p e n d e n t upon t h e e f f i c i e n t o p e r a t i o n o f a u x i l i a r y e q u i p m e n t on t h e d r i l l i n g r i g f o r i t s u s e f u l n e s s . U n l e s s t h e b o i l e r p r o d u c e s steam and k e e p s t h e BOP's f r o m f r e e z i n g d u r i n g w i n t e r d r i l l i n g , t h e d i e s e l m o t o r s g e n e r a t e t h e e l e c t r i c i t y n eeded t o r u n t h e - 89 -mud t a n k c i r c u l a t i o n pumps, and t h e a i r c o m p r e s s o r s c o n t i n u e t o s u p p l y a i r power f o r t h e c o n t r o l mechanisms o f t h e d r i l l i n g and b l o w o u t p r e v e n t i o n p r o c e s s e s , t h e s a f e t y o f t h e w e l l may be p l a c e d i n j e o p a r d y . P o o r l y i n s t a l l e d and m a i n t a i n e d m o t o r s and pumps, and c o r r o d e d mud c i r c u l a t i o n c o mponents c a n i n d i v i d u a l l y , o r i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t h e o t h e r s e c o n d a r y e q u i p m e n t m a l f u n c t i o n s o r d e f i c i e n c i e s , c o n t r i b u t e t o a more s e r i o u s w e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m . S i n c e many o f t h e r i g s c o n t r a c t e d t o d r i l l s o u r gas w e l l s i n A l b e r t a a r e o v e r 25 y e a r s o f a g e , t h e e f f i c i e n t o p e r a t i n g c o n d i t i o n o f a u x i l i a r y e q u i p m e n t , w h i c h i s n o t s u b j e c t t o . s t r i n g e n t s t a n d a r d s , i s most o f t e n s u s p e c t . The o i l i n d u s t r y t e r m u s e d t o r e f e r t o a d r i l l i n g r i g w i t h aged e q u i p m e n t t h a t o f t e n b r e a k s down i s " j u n k " . The number o f ways human i n t e r a c t i o n can e f f e c t t h e o p e r a t i o n o f w e l l d r i l l i n g and b l o w o u t c o n t r o l e q u i p m e n t a r e enormous, even when t h e most u p - t o - d a t e e q u i p m e n t p r o c e d u r e s and p r e c a u t i o n s a r e e m p l o y e d . M i s t a k e s may o r i g i n a t e i n t h e i n i t i a l d e s i g n p h a s e o f t h e w e l l , i n t h e s e l e c t i o n and p r e p a r a t i o n o f t h e s i t e f o r d r i l l i n g and s u p p o r t f a c i l i t i e s , i n t h e s e l e c t i o n o f c a s i n g and mud p r o g r a m s , o r i n t h e c h o i c e o f t h e d r i l l i n g p i p e s t r i n g and BOP s t a c k d e s i g n . S i n c e t h e s o u r gas w e l l d r i l l i n g e x p e r t s do n o t p o s s e s s t h e c l a i r v o y a n c e n e c e s s a r y t o p r e d i c t w i t h c e r t a i n t y a l l t h e c o n d i t i o n s and e v e n t s t h a t may o c c u r w h i l e d r i l l i n g a s o u r - 90 -gas well, the p o s s i b i l i t y e x i s t s for such preliminary engineering flaws and equipment d e f i c i e n c i e s to create inadequate conditions in which to e f f e c t i v e l y respond to a well control problem. While equipment f a i l u r e may r e s u l t from o f f - s i t e human error, well control problems are more l i k e l y to occur as a r e s u l t of d i r e c t human error i n t e r a c t i n g with well control and well d r i l l i n g equipment. 3 . 3 Human F a i l u r e Although the d i r e c t detection and warning signs of a sour gas blowout generally occur in multiple redundancy, any of a combination of equipment f a i l u r e , human f a i l u r e , m isinterpretation, and extenuating or unusual circumstances could r e s u l t in f a i l u r e to detect and control a kick u n t i l i t has progressed to the point of becoming a major uncontrolled release. Thus, quick and competent action by the immediate employees on the d r i l l i n g r i g i s e s s e n t i a l to recognize and r e c t i f y a well control problem. Quick and e f f e c t i v e response however, i s sometimes constrained by the physi c a l , s o c i a l and psychological influences that e x i s t in the work environment of a sour gas well. In the account to follow in t h i s section, based in a large part on personal knowledge and experience acquired while employed on approximately two dozen sour gas well d r i l l i n g operations during the past six years, the - 91 -c o n t r i b u t i o n o f human f a i l u r e as a d e t e r m i n a n t i n t h e r i s k o f w e l l c o n t r o l a c c i d e n t s w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e i n f l u e n c e e x e r t e d by e i g h t d i f f e r e n t a s p e c t s o f t h e work s i t u a t i o n on d r i l l i n g r i g s . T h e s e work c o n d i t i o n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s s h o u l d n o t be v i e w e d as i n d i c a t i v e o f a l l s o u r g a s w e l l r i g s b u t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t h e f l a v o u r commonly f o u n d i n t h e d r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y . G i v e n t h a t human f a i l u r e on a d r i l l i n g r i g may v a r y c o n s i d e r a b l y even d u r i n g t h e most n o r m a l work c o n d i t i o n s , human f a i l u r e i n t h i s s e c t i o n i s v i e w e d as t h e r i g h a n d ' s i n a b i l i t y o r f a i l u r e t o p e r f o r m t h e f u n c t i o n o r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f h i s r o l e b e c a u s e o f e x t e n u a t i n g c i r c u m s t a n c e s a t t h e w e l l s i t e and v a r i a b l e f a c t o r s i n f l u e n c i n g i n d i v i d u a l p e r f o r m a n c e . F a i l u r e t o f u l f i l l t h e t a s k r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s e x p e c t e d o f him, a r i g emplo y e e may commit a human f a i l u r e m i s t a k e t h a t i s d e t r i m e n t a l t o t h e s a f e t y o f t h e w e l l . The key p e r s o n n e l p a r t i e s i n v o l v e d i n t h e d r i l l i n g o f o i l and gas w e l l s i n A l b e r t a i n c l u d e t h e o i l company as t h e w e l l o p e r a t o r , and t h e d r i l l i n g c o n t r a c t o r . O i l company p e r s o n n e l w i l l g e n e r a l l y make t h e d e c i s i o n on a d r i l l i n g p r o g r a m , p l a n and e n g i n e e r t h e w e l l , and s e t d e t a i l e d s p e c i f i c a t i o n s w i t h i n b o t h t h e i r own r e q u i r e m e n t s o f s u c c e s s f u l l y d r i l l i n g and p r o d u c i n g t h e h y d r o c a r b o n s i n t h e w e l l , and t h o s e o f t h e g o v e r n i n g r e g u l a t i o n s . The o i l w e l l - 92 -o p e r a t o r i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e l i f e o f t h e w e l l , however l o n g t h a t may be ( L o d g e p o l e B l o w o u t I n q u i r y - P h a s e 2 R e p o r t , 1984, p. 9 ) . The d r i l l i n g c o n t r a c t o r ' s p r i n c i p a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s t o u s e i t s d r i l l i n g r i g , e q u i p m e n t and crew e m p l o y e e s t o d r i l l t h e w e l l a c c o r d i n g t o t h e o p e r a t o r ' s r e q u i r e m e n t s . A d d i t i o n a l s p e c i a l i z e d m a i n t e n a n c e , s e r v i c e and s u p p l y c o m p a n i e s a r e a l s o r e q u i r e d as t h e need f o r e x p e r t i s e a r i s e s d u r i n g t h e d r i l l i n g o f t h e w e l l . A l i s t o f t h e p r i n c i p a l p o s i t i o n s and t h e i r r e l a t e d t a s k r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s on a t y p i c a l s o u r gas d r i l l i n g o p e r a t i o n i n A l b e r t a i s d i s p l a y e d on t h e n e x t page. The c o n f i g u r a t i o n i n c l u d e s t h o s e e m p l o y e e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e o i l company, t h e d r i l l i n g c o n t r a c t o r , t h e m a i n t e n a n c e c o n t r a c t o r s , and a s a m p l i n g o f t h e v a r i e d s e r v i c e c o n t r a c t o r s . M i n o r v a r i a t i o n s f r o m t h i s l i s t would o c c u r i f t h e s o u r g a s w e l l i s c l a s s e d " c r i t i c a l " s i n c e r e c e n t r e g u l a t o r y c h a n g e s have made i t c o m p u l s o r y t o have two d r i l l i n g e n g i n e e r s on s i t e s o as t o p r o v i d e 24 h o u r s u p e r v i s i o n , when d r i l l i n g t h r o u g h a c r i t i c a l H2S zone ( L o d g e p o l e B l o w o u t R e p o r t , 1 9 8 4 ) . In a d d i t i o n , a s p e c i a l l y t r a i n e d H2S s a f e t y crew and a i r b r e a t h i n g s a f e t y e q u i p m e n t must a l s o be a t t h e d r i l l i n g l o c a t i o n . - 93 -SOUR GAS WELL DRILLING PERSONNEL 1. Operator Crew D r i l l i n g E n g i n e e r : t h e o n - s i t e p e r s o n i n c h a r g e o f t h e w e l l ; u s u a l l y an e x p e r i e n c e d v e t e r a n o f t h e d r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y who c o m m u n i c a t e s d a i l y w i t h head o f f i c e d r i l l i n g s u p e r v i s o r s . G e o l o g i s t : r e s p o n s i b l e f o r i d e n t i f y i n g f o r m a t i o n c u t t i n g s and a s c e r t a i n i n g where and when a H2S f o r m a t i o n w i l l be p e n e t r a t e d . 2 . D r i l l i n g R i g Crew T o o l p u s h : manager o f t h e d r i l l i n g - r i g and crew e m p l o y e e s ; r e s p o n s i b l e f o r e n s u r i n g t h e e f f i c i e n t f u n c t i o n i n g o f a l l d r i l l i n g o p e r a t i o n s , e q u i p m e n t , and p e r s o n n e l . D r i l l e r : s e n i o r member and o n - s h i f t s u p e r v i s o r o f t h e s i x p e r s o n d r i l l i n g r i g crew; r e s p o n s i b l e f o r o p e r a t i o n o f p r i n c i p a l r i g c o n t r o l s , and i n e s s e n c e , a c t u a l l y d r i l l s t h e w e l l . D e r r i c k m a n : s e c o n d most e x p e r i e n c e d member o f d r i l l i n g r i g crew; r e s p o n s i b l e f o r m a i n t e n a n c e o f mud c i r c u l a t i o n s y s t e m and pumps; a l s o works on a plr . t i'orm, 100 f e e t f r o m t h e g r o u n d , c a l l e d t h e "monkey-board" when d r i l l p i p e i s b e i n g t r i p p e d i n o r o u t o f t h e h o l e . - 94 -Motorman: t h e r i g ' s o n - s h i f t m e c h a n i c , j a c k - o f - a l l t r a d e s ; r e s p o n s i b l e f o r m a i n t a i n i n g and s e r v i c i n g power g e n e r a t i o n e q u i p m e n t , b o i l e r , a i r , w a t e r , and h y d r a u l i c s y s t e m s , and w e l l c o n t r o l e q u i p m e n t . R o u g h n e c k s : t h e c o r e and brawn o f t h e d r i l l i n g r i g crew; d e p e n d i n g on r i g s i z e and c o n d i t i o n s , 2 o r 3 r o u g h n e c k s h a n d l e t h e d r i l l p i p e on t h e r i g f l o o r , as w e l l as p e r f o r m i n g g e n e r a l h o u s e k e e p i n g and m a i n t e n a n c e . 3. Maintenance Crew E l e c t r i c i a n s , m e c h a n i c s , and w e l d e r s a r e c a l l e d t o t h e w e l l s i t e when a m a l f u n c t i o n s i t u a t i o n t o d r i l l i n g r i g e q u i p m e n t c a n n o t be r e c t i f i e d by t h e d r i l l c r e w . 4. Service Contractors Mud E n g i n e e r s C e m e n t i n g Crews W e l l D e v i a t i o n S u r v e y P e r s o n n e l Water T r u c k D r i v e r s C o o ks E t c . The d r i l l i n g r i g c r e w ( i . e . , a l s o r e f e r r e d t o as r i g h a n d s ) , as i n d i v i d u a l s and as a u n i t a r e t h e most i m p o r t a n t component o f w e l l s a f e t y b e c a u s e o f t h e i r c o n s t a n t 24 h o u r c o n t a c t w i t h t h e w e l l . B e c a u s e o f t h i s , t h e r i g - 95 -w o r k e r s a r e a l s o t h e most s u s c e p t i b l e human f a c t o r t o an e r r o r c a p a b l e o f l e a d i n g t o a w e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m . A l t h o u g h t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f human e r r o r as one o f t h e p r i m a r y c a u s e s o f w e l l b l o w o u t s has been i d e n t i f i e d by -numerous s t u d i e s s i n c e L o d g e p o l e o c c u r r e d i n t h e autumn o f 1982, a t h o r o u g h e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e e f f e c t o f t h e human f a c t o r s on a d r i l l i n g r i g t o t h e s a f e t y o f b l o w o u t s has n e v e r b e e n p e r f o r m e d i n A l b e r t a . A n a l y t i c a l a s s e s s m e n t o f t h e r i s k p o s e d by d r i l l i n g a s o u r g a s w e l l d e p e n d s upon u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e p o s s i b l e c h a i n s o f e v e n t s w h i c h may l e a d f r o m n o r m a l d r i l l i n g o p e r a t i o n s t o t h e s t a t e o f an a c c i d e n t . C a r n i n o and G r i f f i t h (1982) c o n t e n d t h a t one m a j o r d i f f i c u l t y h i n d e r i n g s u c h an e x a m i n a t i o n i s t h a t t h e a n a l y s i s o f human b e h a v i o u r i n a h i g h r i s k i n d u s t r i a l p r o c e s s i s a v e r y c o m p l e x u n d e r t a k i n g , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n r e l a t i o n t o u n d e r s t a n d i n g how an a c c i d e n t c a n h a p pen. F i n d i n g i n f o r m a t i o n on t h e human e r r o r m i s t a k e s t h a t may l e a d t o t e c h n i c a l f a i l u r e o f a s y s t e m , l i k e e q u i p m e n t on a d r i l l i n g r i g , must be n a r r o w e d t o t h o s e f a c t o r s o f d i r e c t n e g a t i v e i n f l u e n c e . To s u c c e s s f u l l y c a r r y o u t a v a l i d a n a l y s i s o f human b e h a v i o u r i n t h e w o r k p l a c e , C a r n i n o and G r i f f i t h ( 1 9 8 2 ) e m p h a s i z e t h a t s p e c i a l i n t e r v i e w s w i t h t h o s e e m p l o y e e s d i r e c t l y i n v o l v e d i n t h e r i s k y p r o c e s s , k n o w l e d g e o f t h e work s i t u a t i o n , and t e c h n i c a l b a c k g r o u n d a r e e s s e n t i a l . - 96 -However, v i e w i n g human f a i l u r e " f r o m t h e o u t s i d e l o o k i n g i n " has i t s d r a w b a c k s . Hunns (1982) n o t e s t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s e n c o u n t e r e d i n a t t e m p t i n g t o g a i n i n f o r m a t i o n o f t h e work p l a c e by m o n i t o r i n g w o r k e r s engaged i n a r i s k y i n d u s t r i a l p r o c e s s . F o r e x a m p l e , w h i l e d r i l l i n g a s o u r gas w e l l , i f t h e r e i s a c o n t i n u i n g l y c o n s c i o u s a w a r e n e s s by r i g h a n d s o f p e r f o r m a n c e m o n i t o r i n g , p e r f o r m a n c e i s l i k e l y t o be a b n o r m a l . R i g h a n d s do n o t l i k e b e i n g o b s e r v e d m a k i n g e r r o r s b e c a u s e m i s t a k e s i n e v i t a b l y l e a d t o c o n n o t a t i o n s o f blame and p e r s o n a l d e f i c i e n c y , and u l t i m a t e l y i n t h e r e a l i t y o f t h e d r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y , g e t t i n g f i r e d o r " r u n o f f . " T h e r e f o r e r i g e m p l o y e e s , as p o t e n t i a l s u b j e c t s f o r p e r s o n a l p e r f o r m a n c e m o n i t o r i n g , i n s t i n c t i v e l y o p p o s e anyone w a t c h i n g them p e r f o r m t h e i r work. The o n l y e x c e p t i o n may o c c u r when o u t s i d e v i s i t o r s l i k e t e l e v i s i o n c r e w s o r f e m a l e s , t o u r t h e r i g s i t e . O v e r c o m i n g s u c h r e l u c t a n c e w i l l be a m a j o r o b s t a c l e f o r t h e a n a l y s t a t t e m p t i n g t o m e a s u r e human e r r o r on a d r i l l i n g r i g . O n l y a m i n o r i t y o f s i t u a t i o n s o f f e r r e a d y p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r " t r a n s p a r e n t " p e r f o r m a n c e m o n i t o r i n g . Many human e r r o r m i s t a k e s may a c t u a l l y be c o r r e c t e d by t h e p e r s o n c o n c e r n e d , b e f o r e b e c o m i n g e v i d e n t t o t h e t h i r d p a r t y . F u r t h e r m o r e , when an e r r o r i s o b s e r v e d , n o t o n l y must t h e e v e n t be r e c o r d e d b u t a l s o a c o m p r e h e n s i v e and o b j e c t i v e a c c o u n t o f t h e d e t e r m i n i n g f a c t o r s s u r r o u n d i n g t h e e v e n t . Many o f - 97 -t h e s e f a c t o r s , and o f t e n t h e most c r i t i c a l o n e s , a r e bound up i n t h e mind and p s y c h o l o g y o f t h e r i g h a n d s t h e m s e l v e s . C a r n i n o and G r i f f i t h ( 1 9 8 2 , p. 174) a s s e r t t h a t t h e p r i m a r y n e g a t i v e i n f l u e n c e s w h i c h may c a u s e human f a i l u r e t o o c c u r a r e t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e work e n v i r o n m e n t . F o r a s o u r g a s w e l l , t h e s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s c a n be g r o u p e d i n t o t h e f o l l o w i n g e i g h t c l a s s e s : 1. O p e r a t i n g c o n d i t i o n o f e q u i p m e n t ; 2. P h y s i c a l e n v i r o n m e n t ; 3. Time and d u r a t i o n o f work; 4. I n d i v i d u a l a t t e n t i o n t o t a s k ; 5. I n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ; 6. S o c i a l e n v i r o n m e n t ; 7. Management a p p r o a c h ; and, 8. S a f e t y t r a i n i n g . By u s i n g p e r s o n a l k n o w l e d g e and e x p e r i e n c e t o i n t e r p r e t how t h e s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n f l u e n c e e m p l o y e e p e r f o r m a n c e on s o u r g a s d r i l l i n g r i g s , many o f t h e d e f i c i e n c i e s o f a t h i r d p a r t y m o n i t o r i n g a p p r o a c h t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e r e a s o n s o f human f a i l u r e a r e a v o i d e d . P e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e and k n o w l e d g e l e s s e n s t h e u n c e r t a i n t y , and p r o v i d e s an a c c u r a t e e s t i m a t i o n o f t h e e x t e n t t h a t p h y s i c a l , s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l i n f l u e n c e s a r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r , and c a p a b l e o f c r e a t i n g and e n h a n c i n g t h e r i s k o f a s e r i o u s w e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m . - 98 -OPERATING CONDITION OF EQUIPMENT The f i r s t work s i t u a t i o n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c c o n s i d e r e d t o be i n f l u e n t i a l i n l e a d i n g t o human f a i l u r e on a s o u r gas w e l l i s t h e o p e r a t i n g c o n d i t i o n o f t h e d r i l l i n g r i g and i t s e q u i p m e n t . As d i s c l o s e d e a r l i e r , o n l y t h e r i g ' s w e l l c o n t r o l e q u i p m e n t must comply t o r i g o r o u s s a f e t y s t a n d a r d s and p r e s s u r e t e s t s . A u x i l i a r y d r i l l i n g equpment, w h i c h e x e r t s a t r e m e n d o u s i n f l u e n c e on t h e e n t i r e s a f e o p e r a t i o n o f t h e d r i l l i n g p r o c e s s , i s n o t as r i g i d l y i n s p e c t e d and i s t h e r e f o r e , v u l n e r a b l e t o f a i l u r e b e c a u s e o f a g e , l a c k o f m a i n t e n a n c e and r e p a i r , o r i n c o r r e c t a p p l i c a t i o n o f i t s u s e . When a d r i l l i n g r i g p o s s e s s e s e q u i p m e n t o f i n f e r i o r q u a l i t y , b u t o t h e r w i s e c o n t i n u e s t o o p e r a t e by p a s s i n g t h e m a n d a t o r y p r e s s u r e t e s t s o f i t s b l o w o u t p r e v e n t i o n e q u i p m e n t , t h e r i g e m p l o y e e s a r e s u b j e c t e d t o an a d d i t i o n a l w o r k l o a d o f m a i n t a i n i n g t h e f a u l t y e q u i p m e n t . P o o r work a t t i t u d e s r e s u l t , l e a d i n g t o a d e c r e a s e i n c o n c e r n f o r t h e s a f e o p e r a t i o n o f a l l e q u i p m e n t , and c o n s e q u e n t l y t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f s e r i o u s w e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m s . D u r i n g t h e d r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y slump i n A l b e r t a , b etween 1981 and 1984, many o f t h e d r i l l i n g r i g s c u r r e n t l y b e i n g u s e d t o d r i l l s o u r gas w e l l s , were s i t t i n g i d l e ( i . e . , r u s t i n g away i n a f a r m e r ' s f i e l d ) and n o t g e n e r a t i n g r e v e n u e f o r t h e i r o w ners. Now e m p l o y e d , t h e d r i l l i n g c o m p a n i e s a r e a t t e m p t i n g t o q u i c k l y r e c o u p t h e i r l o s s e s by c u t t i n g - 99 -c o s t s o f c u r r e n t d r i l l i n g o p e r a t i o n s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , on some s o u r ga s w e l l d r i l l i n g r i g s , t h e c u t s have e x t e n d e d t o n e g l e c t i n m a i n t a i n i n g and e n s u r i n g . t h e s a f e o p e r a t i n g e f f i c i e n c y o f a l l d r i l l i n g r i g e q u i p m e n t . The i n e v i t a b l e r e s u l t i s t h a t a s o u r gas d r i l l i n g r i g may be c o n t i n u a l l y s u b j e c t t o m e c h a n i c a l m a l f u n c t i o n s . R i g h a n d s who must work w i t h ' j u n k ' e q u i p m e n t grow f r u s t r a t e d w i t h t h e c o n t i n u a l need t o make r e p a i r s . W o r k i n g w i t h u n r e l i a b l e and aged e q u i p m e n t d i c t a t e s t h a t d r i l l i n g r i g c rew members spend l e s s t i m e w i t h t h e r e g u l a r r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s o f t h e i r r o l e on t h e r i g , and more t i m e e n s u r i n g t h a t b a s i c e q u i p m e n t c o n t i n u e s t o o p e r a t e . " R u n n i n g a r o u n d l i k e a c h i c k e n w i t h h i s head c u t o f f " i s an e x p r e s s i o n w h i c h a p t l y d e s c i b e s a t y p i c a l day o f work on s u c h a r i g . When t h e s i t u a t i o n i s a g g r a v a t e d by a l a c k o f b a c k - u p s y s t e m s on t h e r i g , o r an a b s e n c e o f s p a r e p a r t s t o k e e p t h e e q u i p m e n t o p e r a t i n g , moods o f a n x i e t y l e a d t o f e e l i n g s o f h e l p l e s s n e s s and u l t i m a t e l y t o e x t r e m e l y h i g h l e v e l s o f s t r e s s . Worker f a t i g u e and d i s r e s p e c t f o r e q u i p m e n t i n e v i t a b l y r e s u l t s . As a c o n s e q u e n c e , p o s i t i v e w o r k e r a t t i t u d e t o t h e s a f e o p e r a t i n g c o n d i t i o n o f e q u i p m e n t d e t e r i o r a t e s . F o r e x a m p l e , t h e f o l l o w i n g work h a b i t s a r e r e f l e c t i v e o f a r i g h a n d ' s r e s p o n s e t o a c o n t i n u e d e x p o s u r e t o d r i l l i n g r i g s w i t h p o o r e q u i p m e n t : 1. When s p a r e p a r t s a r e n o t a v a i l a b l e , m a k e s h i f t - 100 -r e p a i r s a r e o f t e n p e r f o r m e d , s ometimes w i t h o n l y h a l f - h e a r t e d a t t e m p t s and a hope t h a t i t d o e s n o t f a i l a g a i n ; 2. H i d i n g a p r o b l e m , t h e r e b y p e r m i t t i n g someone e l s e t o d e t e c t i t and r e p a i r i t ; 3. A t e n d e n c y t o p a s s e q u i p m e n t p r o b l e m s on t o t h e n e x t s h i f t ; and, 4. An e x t r e m e b u t p r a c t i s e d h a b i t o f s a b o t a g i n g t h e f a u l t y component so t h a t management i s f o r c e d t o buy a new p i e c e o f e q u i p m e n t . In e s s e n c e , when t h e e f f i c i e n t o p e r a t i n g s t a t e o f a d r i l l i n g r i g and i t s e q u i p m e n t i s u n c e r t a i n , an a t m o s p h e r e o f n e g a t i v e w o r k e r a t t i t u d e s t o w a r d s e q u i p m e n t i s c r e a t e d , and a work e n v i r o n m e n t c o n d u c i v e t o human e r r o r m a t e r i a l i z e s . U n l e s s t h e d r i l l i n g e q u i p m e n t c a n be r e l i e d upon t o s u c c e s s f u l l y d r i l l a s o u r g a s w e l l , t h e r e l i a b i l i t y o f r i g h a n d s i s e v e n l e s s c e r t a i n . P h y s i c a l Environment The s e c o n d work s i t u a t i o n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c w h i c h i n f l u e n c e s t h e human e r r o r f a c t o r i s t h e p h y s i c a l e n v i r o n m e n t o f t h e w o r k p l a c e . The e n v i r o n m e n t has t h e a b i l i t y t o a f f e c t a r i g h a n d ' s p h y s i c a l w e l l - b e i n g and h i s m e n t a l a t t i t u d e , h i s mood, h i s d e s i r e s , h i s a c t i o n s and h i s e f f i c i e n c y . - 101 -The work e n v i r o n m e n t on a s o u r gas d r i l l i n g r i g i s d o m i n a t e d by a c o n t i n u o u s n o i s e l e v e l b e i n g e m i t t e d f r o m t h e m e c h a n i c a l , a i r and e l e c t r i c a l o p e r a t i n g s y s t e m s . H a r d p h y s i c a l work f o r e x t e n d e d p e r i o d s o f t i m e i s p e r f o r m e d i n muddy, o i l y , g r e a s y , d i r t y and damp work c o n d i t i o n s . When t h e s e t r y i n g c o n d i t i o n s a r e c o m p l i c a t e d and s t r e s s e d f u r t h e r by e x p o s u r e t o e x t r e m e s o f w i n t e r and summer w e a t h e r and t e m p e r a t u r e s , t h e p h y s i c a l e n v i r o n m e n t o f t h e w o r k p l a c e becomes v e r y d e m a n d i n g . Compounding t h e n e g a t i v e i n f l u e n c e s i s t h e n e c e s s i t y f o r a r i g hand t o be c o n s t a n t l y aware o f h i s p h y s i c a l e n v i r o n m e n t t o e n s u r e h i s p h y s i c a l s a f e t y ; m o v i n g m e c h a n c a l p a r t s and h e a v y o b j e c t s b e i n g l i f t e d o v e r h e a d a r e common p l a c e . C o l l e c t i v e l y t h e p h y s i c a l e n v i r o n m e n t on d r i l l i n g r i g s c a n be d e s c r i b e d as n o i s y , d i r t y , p h y s i c a l l y and m e n t a l l y d e m a n d i n g , and d a n g e r o u s . H a r d p h y s i c a l work u n d e r s u c h p h y s i c a l and m e n t a l s t r a i n s i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f an o c c u p a t i o n t h a t c a n e f f e c t i v e l y " s e p a r a t e t h e men f r o m t h e b o y s . " I n d i v i d u a l l y , e a c h o f t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e p h y s i c a l w o r k p l a c e has t h e l a t e n t p o t e n t i a l t o i n f l i c t d e t r i m e n t a l e f f e c t s on e f f i c i e n t human p e r f o r m a n c e a t t h e r i g s i t e . F o r example, S u r r y ( 1 9 6 9 ) o u t l i n e d f o u r n e g a t i v e -f e a t u r e s o f n o i s e i n an i n d u s t r i a l work e n v i r o n m e n t : 1. Damaging e f f e c t s on h e a r i n g a b i l i t y ; - 102 -2. I n t e r f e r e n c e w i t h s p e e c h c o m m u n i c a t i o n ; 3. I n t e r f e r e n c e w i t h work e f f i c i e n c y ; and, 4. A n n o y a n c e . D e s p i t e t h e c o n s t a n t n o i s e l e v e l on d r i l l i n g r i g s , r i g e m p l o y e e s s e l d o m u s e h e a r i n g p r o t e c t i o n . The d i r t y , c o l d , damp work c o n d i t i o n s on a d r i l l i n g r i g a r e an a c c e p t e d f a c e t o f t h e j o b . However when t h e u n c o m f o r t a b l e s u r r o u n d i n g s a r e a c c e n t u a t e d by t h e need f o r a r i g h a n d t o c o m p l e t e a t a s k i n a c o n f i n e d p o s i t i o n f o r a l e n g t h y p e r i o d o f t i m e i n s e v e r e w e a t h e r c o n d i t i o n s , and w i t h a l a c k o f a s s i s t a n c e o r t h e p r o p e r t o o l s , f r u s t r a t i o n ' may e x c e e d an i n d i v i d u a l ' s commitment t o p e r f o r m t h e t a s k t o t h e b e s t o f h i s a b i l i t y . W i t h r e g a r d t o t h e p h y s i c a l demands o f a r i g h a n d ' s j o b , a s t u d y t h a t e x a m i n e d U n i t e d Kingdom O f f s h o r e D r i l l i n g S a f e t y ( O i l and Gas J o u r n a l , December 10, 1984, p . 9 5 - 1 0 0 ) , f o u n d t h a t r i g w o r k e r s e n g a g e d i n t a s k s s u c h as t h e l o n g p e r i o d s r e q u i r e d t o t r i p d r i l l p i p e o u t o f and b a c k i n t o t h e w e l l ( i . e . d e p e n d i n g on t h e d e p t h o f t h e w e l l , t h e t i m e p e r i o d c a n be up t o 12 h o u r s i n l e n g t h ) , e x p e r i e n c e d e x t r e m e l y h i g h l e v e l s o f p h y s i c a l e x e r t i o n . The g r e a t e r t h e e f f o r t n e e d e d t o i n i t i a t e an a c t i v i t y meant s m a l l e r r e m a i n i n g c a p a c i t y was h e l d i n r e s e r v e t o m a i n t a i n c o n t r o l o f a s t i t u a t i o n i f an u n f o r s e e n e v e n t s h o u l d o c c u r . C a p a c i t y t o p e r f o r m h a r d p h y s i c a l work may be r e d u c e d as t h e - 103 -s h i f t p r o g r e s s e s , and b e c a u s e o f f a t i g u e , m e n t a l e r r o r s were s e e n as p o t e n t i a l l y o c c u r r i n g more o f t e n . The s t u d y a l s o d e m o n s t r a t e d t h a t t h e p h y s i c a l demands t h a t s p e c i f i c t a s k s p l a c e d upon r i g h a n d s can be q u a n t i f i e d by r e c o r d i n g maximum h e a r t r a t e s f o r e a c h a c t i v i t y ( r e f e r t o A p p e n d i x 6 ) . The c o l l e c t i o n o f s u c h d a t a c a n t h e n be u s e d t o i d e n t i f y where t h e p h y s i c a l demands a r e g r e a t e s t and w h e t h e r c h a n g e s i n o p e r a t i n g p r o c e d u r e s o r e q u i p m e n t d e s i g n a r e n e e d ed t o a c h e i v e a b e t t e r m a t ch between t a s k demands and t h e w o r k e r ' s c a p a c i t y t o p e r f o r m them. The e l e m e n t o f d a n g e r t o t h e h e a l t h and p h y s i c a l s a f e t y o f r i g e m p l o y e s has become a w e l l d o c u m e nted c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f t h e w o r k p l a c e on d r i l l i n g r i g s . A l t h o u g h w e l l o p e r a t o r s and d r i l l i n g c o n t r a c t o r s c o n d u c t t h e i r p r a c t i c e s w i t h an h o n e s t i n t e n t o f s a f e t y , i n t h e q u i c k p a c e d demands o f o i l and g a s w e l l d r i l l i n g , o v e r 2,800 w o r k e r a c c i d e n t s were r e p o r t e d i n 1977 o u t o f a t o t a l work f o r c e o f 7,500 ( C a n a d i a n A s s o c i a t i o n o f O i l w e l l D r i l l i n g C o n t r a c t o r s , M o n t h l y A c c i d e n t R e p o r t s , 1 9 7 6 - 8 0 ) . In 1978, t h e r e were an a s t o n i s h i n g 4,307 a c c i d e n t s . From 1976 t o 1979, 39 w o r k e r s i n t h e A l b e r t a d r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y were k i l l e d as a r e s u l t o f a c c i d e n t s l i k e b e i n g c r u s h e d by h e a v y e q u i p m e n t , f a l l s f r o m t h e d e n - c k , e l e c t r o c u t i o n , wrapped up i n t h e d e a d l y s p i n n i n g c h a i n ( i . e . u s e d t o s p i n d r i l l p i p e j o i n t s t o g e t h e r ) , o r f r o m b e i n g e x p o s e d t o a l e t h a l c o n c e n t r a t i o n - 104 -o f h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e . When t h e d r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y wound down i t s h e c t i c p a c e o f t h e boom y e a r s , i n c r e a s e d r e g u l a t i o n made r i g s s a f e r , and more e x p e r i e n c e d crew members were t h e o n l y o n e s f o r t u n a t e enough t o be s t i l l e m p l o y e d i n t h e i n d u s t r y . C o n s e q u e n t l y , a c c i d e n t s were r e d u c e d b u t t o d a y , y e a r l y d e a t h s and m o n t h l y i n j u r i e s c o n t i n u e t o c h a r a c t e r i z e employment on d r i l l i n g r i g s i n A l b e r t a ( r e f e r t o A p p e n d i x 7). Competent and l u c k y r i g p e r s o n n e l a v o i d a c c i d e n t s , b u t many o t h e r s , l e s s e x p e r i e n c e d o r n o t as l u c k y , l o s e t h e i r f i n g e r s , t o e s , e y e s , and s o m e t i m e s t h e i r l i v e s . As t h e demand f o r d r i l l i n g r i g s i n t e n s i f i e s i n A l b e r t a , crew e x p e r i e n c e d e c l i n e s ; t h a t i s , b e c a u s e t h e r e have been f e w e r r i g s w o r k i n g i n r e c e n t y e a r s , t h e r e i s p r e s e n t l y a s h o r t a g e o f s k i l l e d r i g h a n d s i n A l b e r t a f o r t h e c u r r e n t demand o f d r i l l i n g a c t i v i t y . New e m p l o y e e s d i l u t e t h e q u a l i t y o f r i g w o r k e r p e r f o r m a n c e , l o n g e r h o u r s r e q u i r i n g l e s s c r e w s a r e w orked, and t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r w o r k e r a c c i d e n t s and human e r r o r i n c r e a s e s . I n A l b e r t a , c o n c e r n f o r w o r k e r s a f e t y by t h e d r i l l i n g c o n t r a c t o r i s u s u a l l y a r e s u l t o f company p r i d e f r o m c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h i n t h e i n d u s t r y , o r as a r e s u l t o f t h e amount o f p r e s s u r e b e i n g a p p l i e d by r e g u l a t o r y a u t h o r i t i e s . T h e i r s h a r e d o b j e c t i v e i s t o o p e r a t e s o u r gas d r i l l i n g r i g s w i t h " A c c i d e n t - F r e e D a y s . " Most d r i l l i n g c o n t r a c t o r s employ - 105 -a t o k e n s a f e t y awards p r o g r a m o f b a l l p o i n t p e n s , h a t s , d u f f l e bags and w i n t e r c o a t s t o r e w a r d t h o s e r i g h a n d s f o r w o r k i n g e x t e n d e d p e r i o d s w i t h o u t a l o s t - t i m e a c c i d e n t . When an a c c i d e n t t o a w o r k e r d o e s o c c u r , as l o n g as i t i s n o t t o o s e r i o u s , d r i l l i n g c o n t r a c t o r s go t o g r e a t l e n g t h s t o e n t i c e an e m p l o y e e t o s t a y w o r k i n g on " l i g h t - d u t y " so t h a t t h e s a f e - d r i l l i n g r e c o r d o f t h e company w i l l n o t be t a r n i s h e d . W h i l e t h e d r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y p r o c l a i m s t o be a d v o c a t e s o f s a f e t y , t h e i r s i n c e r e r e g a r d t o h a z a r d o u s work c o n d i t i o n s on r i g s i s l a c k i n g . T a s k s t h a t e n t a i l w o r k i n g w i t h e l e c t r i c a l s y s t e m s , o r a t d a n g e r o u s h e i g h t s , o r on t h e d r i l l f l o o r u n d e r v e r y s l i p p e r y , c l u t t e r e d and muddy c o n d i t i o n s a r e common. Whenever an a c c i d e n t o c c u r s however, i t i s bl a m e d on t h e r i g h a n d ' s c a r e l e s s n e s s , f a i l u r e t o f o l l o w c o r r e c t p r o c e d u r e s , o r u n w i l l i n g n e s s t o use p r e c a u t i o n s (CAODC, M o n t h l y A c c i d e n t R e p o r t s ) . T h e r e i s no r e q u i r e d f o r m a l t r a i n i n g f o r employment on d r i l l i n g r i g s , i n e f f e c t r i g h a n d s must l e a r n how t o work s a f e l y by t r i a l and e r r o r . To a c e r t a i n e x t e n t r i g h a n d s a c c e p t t h e s e c o n d i t i o n s as an i n e v i t a b l e p a r t o f t h e j o b . However, i t i s a c o m p l a c e n t c o m p l i a n c e . Two r i g w o r k e r s who f i r s t g a i n e d e x p e r i e n c e i n A l b e r t a and r e t u r n e d t o Nova S c o t i a t o work on o f f s h o r e r i g s , d e s c r i b e d t h e d i f f e r e n c e s o f d r i l l i n g s a f e t y on r i g s i n t h e two l o c a l e s ( H a l i f a x C h r o n i c l e - H e r a l d , September 30, 1985, p. 4 ) , - 106 -The o f f s h o r e r i g s a r e u p - t o - d a t e , w h i c h i s a b i g c h a n g e f r o m t h e 1 9 5 0 s - b u i l t r i g s i n A l b e r t a . The t r a i n i n g and e q u i p m e n t a b o a r d o f f s h o r e r i g s i s s u p e r i o r t o t h a t w h i c h we e x p e r i e n c e d i n A l b e r t a . I t ' s more t e c h n i c a l o f f s h o r e , and t a k e s more t h i n k i n g , l e s s l a b o u r . F o r m a l t r a i n i n g was n o t n e e d ed t o g e t h i r e d on r i g s i n A l b e r t a i n t h e l a t e 1970s, a l l t h a t was n e e d e d was common s e n s e and a w i l l i n g n e s s t o work h a r d . A n o t h e r o f f s h o r e w o r k e r e m p l o y e d on a r i g o f f t h e c o a s t o f N e w f o u n d l a n d , d i d n o t have q u i t e so p o s i t i v e a v i e w o f d r i l l i n g r i g s a f e t y ( T o r o n t o G l o b e and M a i l , November 13, 1985, p. A 3 ) , " t h e a t t i t u d e o u t t h e r e i s p o o r as f a r as s a f e t y i s c o n c e r n e d : j u s t g e t t h e j o b done and as q u i c k as p o s s i b l e . " The f i n a l r e p o r t on t h e Ocean R a n g e r d i s a s t e r , i n F e b r u a r y , 1982, o f f t h e N e w f o u n d l a n d c o a s t , i n w h i c h a l l 84 e m p l o y e e s o f t h e r i g p e r i s h e d , r e c o g n i z e d t h i s a t t i t u d e p r o b l e m w i t h i n t h e o i l and gas i n d u s t r y and e m p h a s i z e d t h a t r i g h a n d s s h o u l d g e t a much b i g g e r s a y i n d e c i s i o n s a f f e c t i n g t h e i r s a f e t y ( C a l g a r y H e r a l d , J u l y 13, 1985, p. E l ) . Y e t s a f e t y on a d r i l l i n g r i g s t i l l r e m a i n s i n t h e hands o f o t h e r s , and w o r k e r s must l e a r n by e x p e r i e n c e o r m i s f o r t u n e how t o p e r s e v e r e . Tifi . i l and D u r a t i o n o f Work The t h i r d f e a t u r e o f t h e d r i l l i n g r i g work s i t u a t i o n w h i c h may be c o n s i d e r e d c o n d u c i v e t o t h e o c c u r r e n c e o f human - 107 -f a i l u r e i s t h e t i m e and d u r a t i o n o f t h e work. R i g h a n d s r o u t i n e l y work s c h e d u l e d c y c l e s o f 12 h o u r s p e r day f o r 14 c o n s e c u t i v e d a y s b e f o r e r e c e i v i n g one week o f f . One week o f day s h i f t ( i . e . 8 A.M. t o 8 P.M.) i s f o l l o w e d by one week w o r k i n g t h e g r a v e y a r d s h i f t . W o r k e r s e n g a g e d i n 12 h o u r s h i f t s work more h o u r s i n a two week span t h a n t h e a v e r a g e ' n i n e t o f i v e r ' works i n an e n t i r e month. In a d d i t i o n , d u r i n g p e r i o d s o f a s s e m b l i n g o r d i s m a n t l i n g t h e d r i l l i n g r i g ( i . e . b e g i n n i n g a new w e l l o r c o m p l e t i n g an o l d w e l l ) , t h e amount o f h o u r s worked o f t e n e x t e n d s b e y o n d t h e maximum 12 h o u r s p e r day s t a n d a r d as s e t by t h e W o r k e r s ' s C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d o f A l b e r t a . The s h e e r number o f h o u r s worked i n a two week p e r i o d c o n n o t e s w o r k e r f a t i g u e . Even one 12 h o u r s h i f t may r e p r e s e n t an i n s u r m o u n t a b l e p e r i o d o f t i m e i f t h e w o r k l o a d on t h e r i g has been a b n o r m a l l y h i g h , i f t h e w e a t h e r c o n d i t i o n s and t e m p e r a t u r e s have been s e v e r e , o r i f t h e r e has b e e n a h i g h d e g r e e o f w o r k e r t u r n o v e r , c a u s i n g r i g c r e w s t o work s h o r t - h a n d e d . I f t h e s e o r o t h e r common t y p e s o f work c o n d i t i o n s p e r s i s t , and p r o b l e m s a t t h e r i g e l i m i n a t e t h e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r any t y p e o f c o f f e e o r r e l a x a t i o n b r e a k f r o m work, m a i n t e n a n c e o f a h i g h d e g r e e o f a l e r t n e s s and a t t e n t i o n t o t h e p r o b l e m s i t u a t i o n f o r t h e e n t i r e 12 h o u r p e r i o d i s u n l i k e l y and u n c e r t a i n . C o r r e s p o n d i n g l y , t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r human f a i l u r e i s i n c r e a s e d . - 108 -The C a n a d i a n A s s o c i a t i o n o f O i l w e l l D r i l l i n g C o n t r a c t o r s (CAODC), a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e body o f a p p r o x i m a t e l y 100 d r i l l i n g c o n t r a c t o r c o m p a n i e s i n C a n a d a t h a t e s t a b l i s h e s and r e q u e s t s v o l u n t a r y c o m p l i a n c e t o d r i l l i n g s t a n d a r d s as w e l l as wage r a t e s f o r r i g h a n d s , e x a m i n e d t h e 12 h o u r s h i f t s as a f a c t o r i n w o r k e r a c c i d e n t s ( M a c l e a n ' s November 12, 1979, p. 3 5 ) . The CAODC p r o p o s e d t h a t 8 h o u r s h i f t s s h o u l d be worked on r i g s , whenever p o s s i b l e , t o r e d u c e w o r k e r f a t i g u e as an i n f l u e n c e t o e m p l o y e e a c c i d e n t s and d e a t h s . When t h e d r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y slump o c c u r r e d , 8 h o u r s h i f t s become t h e norm. S h o r t e r s h i f t s meant d r i l l i n g c o m p a n i e s c o u l d employ more o f t h e i r w o r k e r s ( i . e . 4 c r e w s i n s t e a d o f 3 ) , and l e s s o v e r t i m e would have t o be p a i d . However as t h e demand f o r d r i l l i n g r i g s i n c r e a s e d a g a i n , t h e l i m i t e d s u p p l y o f e x p e r i e n c e d w o r k e r s r e - e s t a b l i s h e d t h e need f o r 12 h o u r s h i f t s . R i g h a n d s v e h e m e n t l y o p p o s e t h e s h o r t e r 8 h o u r s h i f t s , e s p e c i a l l y when t h e r i g i s d r i l l i n g i n a r e m o t e a r e a . L e s s h o u r s a t work mean more t i m e i s s p e n t i n camp, work c y c l e s become 3 weeks on and 1 week o f f , and l e s s money i s e a r n e d . The s i t u a t i o n i s p a r a d o x i c a l i n one s e n s e ; 12 h o u r s h i f t s h ave n e g a t i v e c a u s a t i v e e f f e c t s b u t i t i s what r i g e m p l o y e e s d e s i r e . - 109 -I n d i v i d u a l A t t e n t i o n t o Task While revelation of the inadequacies of the physical work environment on d r i l l i n g r i g s reveals the danger and constraints placed upon the righand, the content and amount of employee attention to the i n d i v i d u a l tasks performed in the workplace accounts for the fourth influence to human f a i l u r e . When a well control problem arises or an equipment malfunction occurs, unless each concerned r i g employee i s knowledgeable in the tasks required of him in order to deal with the problem, or the necessary information i s communicated e f f e c t i v e l y to him, the importance and degree of attention attached to the task may be i n s u f f i c i e n t to e f f e c t i v e l y respond to, and r e c t i f y the s i t u a t i o n . The immediacy of the task requirement w i l l determine the amount of i n i t i a t i v e the righand focusses on the problem. If the circumstances are a routine occurrence l i k e a suspected washed valve in the mud c i r c u l a t i o n pump, a le v e l of r e p e t i t i o n and monotony may hinder the employee from looking for non-routine problems with the pump l i k e a broken valve spring, and consequently the pump w i l l not be repaired c o r r e c t l y . On the other hand, i f a r i g employee has never experienced an actual well control problem before, and t r a i n i n g has been inadequate, human f a i l u r e may occur quite e a s i l y . An infrequently performed task, suddenly required, does not always leave time for prac t i s e and memory - 110 -s e a r c h . F o r example, i f a motorman must m a n u a l l y b l e e d o f f t h e s h u t - i n w e l l p r e s s u r e t h r o u g h t h e c h o k e m a n i f o l d , b u t has n e v e r a c t u a l l y done t h i s b e f o r e , i n a d v e r t e n t l y an e r r o r may be made. T h i s c a u s e s t h e c a s i n g p r e s s u r e t o be e x c e e d e d , t h e r e b y r u p t u r i n g t h e d ownhole g e o l o g i c a l f o r m a t i o n and c a u s i n g a s e r i e s o f s u b s e q u e n t w e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m s . The r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r d i l i g e n t a t t e n t i o n t o t h e c o n t e n t o f a s p e c i f i c t a s k does n o t r e s t e n t i r e l y w i t h t h e r i g h a n d a s s i g n e d i t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . The d e g r e e o f c o n c e r n e x p r e s s e d by management p e r s o n n e l t o "the t a s k w i l l i n f l u e n c e t h e manner t h e r i g e m p l o y e e a p p r o a c h e s t h e p r o b l e m . I f c o n c e r n i s a p p a r e n t , an e m p l o y e e w i s h i n g t o f u l f i l l h i s j o b r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and i m p r e s s upon t h e f o r e m a n t h a t he i s a good 'hand,' w i l l p e r f o r m t h e work i n e a r n e s t . However i f s u p e r v i s o r y c o n c e r n i s n o t a p p a r e n t , w o r k e r a t t i t u d e may be s i m i l a r i l y n e g l e c t f u l . On t h e o t h e r hand, i f a d r i l l e r as t h e s u p e r v i s o r o f t h e o n - s h i f t crew, i s o v e r - a s s i g n i n g t h e amount o f work he w i s h e s t o be p e r f o r m e d i n a 12 h o u r s h i f t ( i . e . r e f e r r e d t o as a ' s h i t - l i s t ' ) , t h e n t h e t e c h n i c a l d e t a i l r e q u i r e d o f many j o b s may be f o r e g o n e so t h a t c o m p l e t i o n o f a l l t h e t a s k s i s p o s s i b l e . I f humar. i _ i l u r e on s o u r gas w e l l d r i l l i n g r i g s i s a t t r i b u t e d t o a r i g h a n d ' s i g n o r a n c e o r a p o o r memory i n how t o c o r r e c t l y p e r f o r m , what i s i m p l i e d i s t h a t r i g h a n d s a r e - I l l -n o t m o t i v a t e d t o l e a r n , t o remember, t o r e f r e s h t h e m s e l v e s , o r t o r e a l l y t r y t o do a t a s k t h e r i g h t way. However, i n d i v i d u a l m o t i v a t i o n i s sometimes v e r y d i f f i c u l t t o m a i n t a i n i n an i n d u s t r y l i k e s o u r g a s w e l l d r i l l i n g where o p e r a t i o n s a r e o f t e n c o n t i n u o u s l y c o n d u c t e d f o r l o n g p e r i o d s o f t i m e w i t h o u t a w e l l c o n t r o l i n c i d e n t . The boredom and c o m p l a c e n c y t h a t grows o u t o f t h i s t y p e o f employment c a n l u l l e v e n t h e most w e l l - i n t e n d e d r i g h a n d i n t o m i s h a p s . As w i l l be d i s c u s s e d more t h o r o u g h l y i n s u b s e q u e n t work s i t u a t i o n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , a d d i t i o n a l e x t e n u a t i n g c i r c u m s t a n c e s c a n i n f l u e n c e t h e e f f i c i e n t p e r f o r m a n c e o f a r i g h a n d and c o n s e q u e n t l y an e m p l o y e e ' s a t t e n t i o n t o s p e c i f i c t a s k s . I n d i v i d u a l C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s The f i f t h c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f work on a s o u r gas d r i l l i n g r i g deemed t o be v e r y c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o t h e o c c u r r e n c e o f human f a i l u r e i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e p h y s i c a l and m e n t a l makeup o f t h o s e i n d i v i d u a l s e m p l o y e d a t t h e r i g . T h e s e t r a i t s c a n be e x a m i n e d i n two ways; t h o s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s n e e d e d u n d e r n o r m a l w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s and t h o s e t h a t may be p r e s e n t u n d e r a b n o r m a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s . I f t h e demands o f e i t h e r s i t u a t i o n r e q u i r e more p h y s i c a l v i r i l i t y o r m e n t a l s t r e n g t h t h a n t h e i n d i v i d u a l p o s s e s s e s , human f a i l u r e l e a d i n g t o a c c i d e n t s w i l l d e v e l o p . One o f t h e most o b v i o u s i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s r e q u i r e d by a r i g h a n d i s t h e p h y s i c a l a b i l i t y t o p e r f o r m t h e - 112 -l a b o u r - i n t e n s i v e r o l e o f h i s j o b , day a f t e r d a y . I n a d d i t i o n t o p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h , s t a m i n a , and a g i l i t y , a r i g h a n d must p o s s e s good v i s i o n and h e a r i n g and be f r e e o f h e a l t h i m p a i r m e n t s l i k e a p o o r h e a r t . The n e c e s s i t y o f s u c h c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s would t e n d t o i m p l y t h a t r i g h a n d s be young and p h y s i c a l l y f i t ; b u t o f t e n e m p l o y e e s a r e t h e o p p o s i t e . M e d i c a l e x a m i n a t i o n s , c h e c k - u p s and h e a l t h s t a n d a r d s a r e n o t a p a r t o f t h e employment p r o c e s s on d r i l l i n g r i g s . As a r e s u l t , t h e p h y s i c a l l i m i t a t i o n s and e x h a u s t i o n p o i n t o f many r i g h a n d s i s a p p r o a c h e d d u r i n g r o u t i n e o p e r a t i o n s , c r e a t i n g p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r human f a i l u r e t o o c c u r when t a s k demands o f t h e work s i t u a t i o n e x t e n d t o a b n o r m a l p h y s i c a l r e q u i r e m e n t s . A p p r o x i m a t e l y 65 p e r c e n t o f t h e r i g h a n d s c u r r e n t l y e m p l o y e d on s o u r gas w e l l d r i l l i n g r i g s began t h e i r o i l p a t c h c a r e e r s p r i o r t o , o r d u r i n g , t h e d r i l l i n g boom o f t h e l a t e 1970s and e a r l y 1980s ( p e r s o n a l e s t i m a t e ) . T h e s e w o r k e r s have become e x p e r i e n c e d e m p l o y e e s and f o r m t h e c o r e o f t h e s o u r gas d r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y . The r e m a i n i n g r i g h a n d s i n t h e i n d u s t r y have e i t h e r b e en a b s e n t f r o m r i g s f o r a number o f y e a r s o r a r e new e n t r a n t s t o t h e d r i l l i n g w o r k f o r c e . T h i s e l e m e n t o f i n e x p e r i e n c e on s o u r g a s w e l l s b r e e d s u n c e r t a i n t y and becomes more c r u c i a l t o t h e s a f e o p e r a t i n g e f f i c i e n c y o f s o u r g a s w e l l s when t h e r e i s an u n u s u a l l y h i g h d e g r e e o f i n e x p e r i e n c e d w o r k e r s on t h e r i g . - 113 -S i n c e w e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m s c a n o n l y be a v o i d e d and s o l v e d by i n d i v i d u a l s who a r e f a m i l i a r i n t h e p r e c a u t i o n s t o be t a k e n , and c o m p e t e n t i n t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f t h e c o r r e c t p r o c e d u r e s , t h e l e n g t h o f e x p e r i e n c e w o r k i n g d i r e c t l y on s o u r gas d r i l l i n g r i g s i s a c r i t i c a l i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t o c o n s i d e r when e x a m i n i n g t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f human f a i l u r e . More s p e c i f i c a l l y p e r h a p s , i s t h e need t o a s c e r t a i n t h e number o f y e a r s t h e r i g h a n d has worked f o r t h e d r i l l i n g c o n t r a c t o r i n q u e s t i o n , o r on t h e d r i l l i n g r i g u n d e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n . L o y a l t y b i a s e s t o p a r t i c u l a r d r i l l i n g c o m p a n i e s a r e p r e v a l e n t among r i g h a n d s and can i n f l u e n c e t h e d e g r e e o f i n i t i a t i v e , c o n s c i e n t i o u s n e s s , and d e p e n d a b i l i t y an e m p l o y e e p o s s e s s e s . S i m i l a r i l y , a l t h o u g h a l l d r i l l i n g r i g s a r e b a s i c a l l y t h e same s t r u c t u r a l l y , e v e r y r i g p o s s e s s e s i t s own p a r t i c u l a r e q u i p m e n t and m e c h a n i c a l i n t r i c a c i e s . U n l e s s a r i g h a n d i s aware o f and f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e p e c u l a r i t i e s o f t h e r i g , human f a i l u r e m i s t a k e s c a n e a s i l y o c c u r . Some e x p e r t s i n t h e s o u r gas i n d u s t r y a s s e r t t h a t any l a c k o f e x p e r i e n c e o r i n c o m p l e t e k n o w l e d g e by r i g h a n d s c a n be s u p p l e m e n t e d and made b e t t e r by: . . . e n h a n c i n g t h e q u a l i f i c a t i o n s o f e x i s t i n g c r e w s t h r o u g h t r a i n i n g and p r e p a r a t i o n t o e n s u r e t h e y a r e t o t a l l y f a m i l i a r w i t h s a f e d r i l l i n g p r o c e d u r e s . ( B l o w o u t P r e v e n t i o n R e v i e w  C o m m i t t e e , J u l y , 1 9 8 4 ) . - 114 -However, o n c e t r a i n i n g t o c o v e r s k i l l d e f i c i e n c i e s i s c o m p l e t e d , t h e r e s t i l l r e m a i n s t h e s i g n i f i c e n c e o f a r i g e m p l o y e e ' s m e n t a l a t t i t u d e t o h i s work, w h i c h i n t u r n d e p e n d s upon t h e e x t e n t and t y p e o f e x t e r n a l and i n t e r n a l i n f l u e n c e s a c t i n g upon t h e i n d i v i d u a l . Whether t h e r i g h a n d i s l a z y , u nhappy, e x c i t a b l e , e a s i l y d i s t r a c t a b l e , i m p u l s i v e , i r r i t a b l e , a n x i o u s o r c o m p l a c e n t , w i l l d e t e r m i n e t h e p e r s o n a l s t a b i l i t y o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l and h i s m e n t a l a b i l i t y t o s u c c e s s f u l l y d e t e c t p r o b l e m s i t u a t i o n s and e x e r t an i n f l u e n c e upon them. I f a r i g h a n d has p e r s o n a l p r o b l e m s and i s c o n s t a n t l y o c c u p p i e d w i t h t h e s e c o n c e r n s , h i s a b i l i t y t o c o n c e n t r a t e on t h e demands o f h i s j o b . a r e i m p a i r e d . M i s s i n g a w i f e , s o n , o r g i r l f r i e n d , o r j u s t t h e n o r m a l e v e r y d a y t h i n g s t h a t t h e r e s t o f s o c i e t y t a k e s f o r g r a n t e d ( i . e . s e e i n g d i f f e r e n t f a c e s ) , c a n make a r o u t i n e o c c u r r e n c e o f g e t t i n g mud s p l a s h e d i n t h e f a c e a t m i n u s 30 d e g r e e s C e l s i u s , j u s t t o o much t o t a k e . Under s u c h s t r e s s f u l w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s , p o s i t i v e w o r k e r a t t i t u d e may d e t e r i o r a t e , and u n l e s s m o t i v a t e d , l e a d t o c o m p l a c e n t work h a b i t s . Crew member t u r n o v e r on d r i l l i n g r i g s has p r e v i o u s l y b e e n , and c o n t i n u e s t o be v e r y h i g h f o r t h e s e r e a s o n s . When t h e i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f r i g h a n d s a r e s t r e s s e d w i t h t h e a c t u a l o c c u r r e n c e o f a w e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m , t h e u n c e r t a i n t y o f human f a i l u r e r e s t s e n t i r e l y - 115 -w i t h how w e l l an e m p l o y e e c a n p e r f o r m u n d e r u n f a m i l i a r and p o t e n t i c a l l y d a n g e r o u s c o n d i t i o n s . B e r c h a (1983, p . 31) d e s c r i b e s t h e s i t u a t i o n , A l t h o u g h , i n p r i n c i p l e , t h e c o n c e p t o f w e l l c o n t r o l i s r e l a t i v e l y s i m p l e , i t s i m p l e m e n t a t i o n i s c a r r i e d o u t t h r o u g h a r e l a t i v e l y s o p h i s t i c a t e d and complex s e r i e s o f p r o c e d u r e s . The n a t u r a l f o r c e s i n v o l v e d i n t h e p r o c e s s a r e o f e x t r e m e l y h i g h m a g n i t u d e — p h e n o m e n a o c c u r r e l a t i v e l y q u i c k l y by c o m p a r i s o n t o human r e f l e x p e r i o d s , e s p e c i a l l y i n o p e r a t i o n s t h a t a r e c a r r i e d o u t i n a h o s t i l e e n v i r o n m e n t o f e x t r e m e s i n summer and w i n t e r t e m p e r a t u r e s by c r e w s t h a t a r e away f r o m t h e i r homes and f a m i l i e s f o r e x t e n d e d p e r i o d s o f t i m e w o r k i n g on a r o t a t i n g s h i f t b a s i s i n a r e l a t i v e l y u n i n t e r e s t i n g s o c i a l s e t t i n g . A r e c e n t p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e c o n f i r m s t h e power o f s i t u a t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t o i n f l u e n c e t h e r e s p o n s e t o a w e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m . The i n c i d e n t i s an example o f how m e n t a l s t r e s s c a n c a u s e e v e n e x p e r i e n c e d and k n o w l e d g e a b l e d r i l l i n g p e r s o n n e l t o m i s i n t e r p r e t t h e c o n t e n t o f a p r o b l e m s i t u a t i o n . A l t h o u g h t h e i n c o r r e c t a c t i o n d i d n o t p r o v e t o be o f a s e r i o u s n a t u r e , t h e i n c i d e n t e x e m p l i f i e s how e a s i l y human f a i l u r e m i s t a k e s c a n o c c u r . The d r i l l i n g c o n t r a c t o r company t o whom t h i s i n c i d e n t r e f e r s , had i n 1983 won t h e C a n a d i a n A s s o c i a t i o n o f O i l w e l l D r i l l i n g C o n t r a c t o r s award f o r t h e b e s t s a f e t y p e r f o r m a n c e o f d r i l l i n g c o m p a n i e s w i t h 12 o r more r i g s ( O i l week1, J u n e 23, 1984, p. 2 0 ) . The d r i l l i n g r i g crew members were v e r y e x p e r i e n c e d w i t h s o u r gas w e l l s and t h e two o i l company - 116 -d r i l l i n g e n g i n e e r s t h a t were managing t h e w e l l , p o s s e s s e d o v e r 60 y e a r s c o m b i n e d e x p e r i e n c e i n t h e A l b e r t a o i l and g a s i n d u s t r y . The w e l l was b e i n g d r i l l e d t o a d e p t h o f a p p r o x i m a t e l y 4000 m e t e r s w i t h an e x p e c t e d H2S c o n t e n t o v e r 50 p e r c e n t . S i n c e t h e w e l l was l o c a t e d n e a r a r u r a l p o p u l a t i o n , t h e w e l l was c l a s s e d ' c r i t i c a l . ' A t one p o i n t e a r l i e r i n t h e w e l l , a h i g h l y u n u s u a l u n d e r g r o u n d f i r e had m e l t e d t h e d r i l l p i p e s t r i n g . The w e l l was o b v i o u s l y v e r y d a n g e r o u s and had g a i n e d t h e r e s p e c t o f management p e r s o n n e l . C o n c e r n f o r w e l l s a f e t y was p a r a m o u n t . However b e c a u s e n e r v e s were so k e y e d up t o r e a c t i m m e d i a t e l y and p o s i t i v e l y t o any i n d i c a t i o n o f a w e l l c o n t r o l p r o b l e m , when an i n c i d e n t d i d o c c u r , r e s p o n s e was o v e r r e a c t i v e and what was i n i t i a l l y i d e n t i f i e d as a p r o b l e m , was r e a l l y n o t a p r o b l e m a t a l l . W h i l e d r i l l p i p e was b e i n g t r i p p e d o u t o f t h e w e l l , t h e d r i l l e r was p e r i o d i c a l l y p e r f o r m i n g t h e r o u t i n e p r a c t i c e o f k e e p i n g t h e h o l e f u l l o f mud by t u r n i n g t h e h o l e f i l l pump o f f and on. A l a p s e i n c o n c e n t r a t i o n c a u s e d t h e d r i l l e r t o f o r g e t t o t u r n o f f t h e pump and mud was soo n o b s e r v e d f l o w i n g f r o m w e l l . Management p e r s o n n e l were summoned and i m m e d i a t e l y assumed a k i c k was o c c u r r i n g . What e n s u e d was 3 t o 4 m i n u t e s o f e x c i t a b l e c o n f u s i o n . The a c t u a l r e a s o n f o r t h e w e l l f l o w i n g , d e t e c t e d a f t e r t h e 3 t o 4 m i n u t e p e r i o d had e l a p s e d , was t h a t t h e mud b e i n g pumped i n t o t h e h o l e was - 117 -i n e x c e s s o f what was r e q u i r e d . C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e h o l e f i l l pump was s h u t o f f . How w e l l i n d i v i d u a l r i g e m p l o y e e s r e a c t t o t h e p h y s i c a l and m e n t a l i n f l u e n c e s c r e a t e d by t h e work c o n d i t i o n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f a s o u r gas w e l l u n d e r l i e s t h e u n c e r t a i n t y o f human f a i l u r e i n s u c c e s s f u l l y d r i l l i n g a w e l l . I t i s a w i l d c a r d f a c t o r t h a t a l w a y s e x i s t s . B e c a u s e s o u r gas b l o w o u t s o c c u r so s e l d o m , most r i g h a n d s and many d r i l l i n g e n g i n e e r s have n e v e r e x p e r i e n c e d a s e r i o u s w e l l c o n t r o l s i t u a t i o n b e f o r e . F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r a r i g h a n d w o u l d a c t u a l l y r e m a i n w o r k i n g on t h e r i g f o r $12 p e r h o u r when t h e i r h e a l t h and s a f e t y i s a t r i s k t o e x p o s u r e o f H 2 S , r e m a i n s u n a n s w e r e d . I n summation, w h i l e some i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s may be e n h a n c e d t h r o u g h c o n t i n u e d work e x p o s u r e , t r a i n i n g and f r o m any e x p e r i e n c e g a i n e d f r o m r a r e p r o b l e m s i t u a t i o n s , i n d i v i d u a l r e a c t i o n s t o w o r k p l a c e c o n d i t i o n s on a d r i l l i n g r i g a r e u n p r e d i c t a b l e , and a r e t h e r e f o r e v u l n e r a b l e t o human e r r o r m i s t a k e s . S o c i a l Environment A p a r t f r o m t h e p h y s i c a l and i n d i v i d u a l i n f l u e n c e s t o human f a i l u r e on d r i l l i n g r i g s , t h e s i x t h work s i t u a t i o n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c w h i c h e x i s t s as a f o r c e h a v i n g a p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t on empl o y e e p e r f o r m a n c e i s t h e s o c i a l - 118 -e n v i r o n m e n t i n w h i c h r i g h a n d s must work and l i v e . To a p p r e c i a t e t h e r e l e v a n c e o f t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t o t h e s a f e o p e r a t i o n o f t h e w e l l , t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f how i n d i v i d u a l r i g e m p l o y e e s f u n c t i o n as c omponents o f t h e l a r g e r s o c i a l g r o u p on t h e d r i l l i n g r i g must be c o n v e y e d . The s o c i a l a r r a n g e m e n t and i n t e r a c t i o n o f a l l i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n t h e g r o u p d e t e r m i n e s t h e s o c i a l q u a l i t y o f l i f e on a s o u r gas w e l l d r i l l i n g r i g and i t s c o n n e c t i o n t o human f a i l u r e . I n d i v i d u a l s a r e l u r e d t o work on d r i l l i n g r i g s b e c a u s e o f t h e i l l u s i o n o f h i g h wages t h a t d r i l l i n g r i g e m p l o y e e s a r e p a i d . W h i l e r i g h a n d s were c o m p a r a t i v e l y w e l l p a i d 5 t o 10 t e n y e a r s ago, t h e u n s t a b l e n a t u r e o f t h e d r i l l i n g i n d u s t r y i n r e c e n t y e a r s has r e s u l t e d i n v e r y modest h o u r l y wage i n c r e a s e s ( i . e . two 5 p e r c e n t i n c r e a s e s i n 5 y e a r s ) . An a v e r a g e n e t income f o r a r i g h a n d i s a p p r o x i m a t e l y $2200 p e r month. T h e r e a r e no s h i f t d i f f e r e n t i a l s p a i d and o v e r t i m e i s p a i d a t a r a t e o f t i m e and one h a l f a f t e r 44 r e g u l a r h o u r s i n a one week p e r i o d . More i n t e r e s t i n g p e r h a p s , i s t h e a b s e n c e o f any t y p e o f f i n a n c i a l b e n e f i t o r i n c e n t i v e f o r w o r k i n g on s o u r gas w e l l s . In e s s e n c e , t h e wages a r i g h a n d e a r n s a r e a s m a l l sum i n c o m p a r i s o n t o o t h e r i n d u s t r i a l o c c u p a t i o n s and i n t e r m s o f t h e l o n g h o u r s worked i n d a n g e r o u s and e x t r e m e c o n d i t i o n . : ; An a r t i c l e i n M a c l e a n s , (November 12, 1979, p . 35) e n t i t l e d "A H e l l o f a Way t o E a r n a L i v i n g " d e s c r i b e d - 119 -d r i l l i n g r i g crew members as t h e modern day e q u i v a l e n t o f y e s t e r d a y ' s cowboy. . . . l e a n , t o u g h , i n d e p e n d e n t young men who work h a r d and l i v e h a r d and a r e m y s t e r i o u s l y a t t r a c t e d t o one o f t h e w o r l d ' s most r o m a n t i c o c c u p a t i o n s o f p e t r o l e u m e x p l o r a t i o n . I n r e a l i t y however, e x p e r i e n c e d r i g h a n d s a r e as n o r m a l as e v e r y o n e e l s e , w o r k i n g h a r d a t a j o b and t r y i n g t o make a l i v i n g . B u r d e n e d by f a m i l y o b l i g a t i o n s i n an u n c e r t a i n e c o n o m i c and employment c l i m a t e , most r i g e n p l o y e e s f e e l t h e y a r e l o c k e d i n t o t h e i r work on r i g s . Due t o a l a c k o f e d u c a t i o n , a l a c k o f r e l e v a n t e x p e r i e n c e i n a n o t h e r o c c u p a t i o n , o r t h e f e a r o f n o t b e i n g a b l e t o f i n d a j o b t h a t p a y s t h e same amount o f money, r i g h a n d s s e e no v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e s t o t u r n t o . Few w o r k e r s a r e w i l l i n g t o c h a n g e t h e i r j o b s o r e v e n r i s k b e i n g f i r e d f o r s p e a k i n g o u t a b o u t w o r k p l a c e c o n d i t i o n s . F o r many, w o r k i n g on a r i g becomes r o u t i n e . F a u l t y e q u i p m e n t , p o o r w o r k i n g c o n d i t i o n s , d a n g e r and i n s e n s i t i v e management p r a c t i c e s a r e a c c e p t e d as i n h e r e n t a s p e c t s o f t h e j o b . S u b s e q u e n t l y , r i g h a n d s l a p s e i n t o a t t i t u d e s o f r e s i g n e d c o m p l i a n c e and p a s s i v e a d o p t i o n t o w o r k p l a c e c o n d i t i o n s c o n d u c i v e t o r i s k s . In d o i n g s o , r i g h a n d s make t h e n e c e s s a r y p e r s o n a l a c c o m o d a t i o n s t o c o n d i t i o n s t h e y have l i t t l e c h a n c e o f c h a n g i n g . D e s p i t e