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March 9, 2005 - Independent Review Completed of Asquith Storage Project Water Management

March 9, 2005

Independent Review Completed of
Asquith Storage Project Water Management

TransGas today welcomed the public release of an independent review into water management at the Asquith Natural Gas Storage Development Project, located west of Saskatoon. The review, conducted by Harm Maathuis of the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC), was contracted by the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority (SWA), in consultation with a local citizens' committee.

To enable the study, TransGas advanced a three-month planned shut down of cavern-washing operations at the Asquith Storage Project on December 13, 2004. Since that time, water levels at the TransGas source wells for the project have recovered more than 11 metres. Water level monitoring continues at 30 measuring points in various locations in and around the pumping area. Near-surface, Tessier, and Tyner Valley aquifer measurement data continues to be collected from electronic data loggers by TransGas and shared with the Watershed Authority, the Saskatchewan Research Council, and the local community.

"We welcome the completion and public release of the SRC Report," said Daryl Posehn, Senior Vice President, TransGas. "We will need time to fully study the recommendations contained within the document, however, it appears the independent review confirms our own analysis that there is sufficient water in the Tyner Valley Aquifer to sustain this project, and that TransGas pumping is not contaminating water."

The Saskatchewan Research Council Report identifies and concludes the following:

  • There is no evidence that TransGas pumping has changed groundwater quality in the Tyner Valley Aquifer.

  • There is no evidence that water levels in near-surface aquifers in the Dunfermline area have been affected by pumping associated with the TransGas project.

  • TransGas may resume pumping for the Asquith Project at the licensed rate, provided the water levels in monitoring wells located in the Tyner Valley and Tessier aquifers do not drop below the top of both aquifers.

  • As per the terms of its water-use licence, TransGas should perform mitigation work for private wells adversely impacted by pumping associated with the storage cavern-washing process.

"We look forward to the final decision by the regulator, the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, on TransGas continuing work on this project under the terms of our water-use licence," Posehn concluded.

The Asquith Storage Project was initiated in 2003 and is critical to meet growing Saskatoon area winter natural gas requirements.

Copies of the SRC Report into the TransGas Asquith Project are available at www.swa.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Dave Burdeniuk
Manager of Communications
Phone: 306.777.9842 or 306.535.6569 (cell)
E-mail: dburdeniuk@saskenergy.com