Land and Biodiversity

Minimizing the disturbance of land, wildlife, and water is a priority for Crew and we continuously seek innovative ways to ensure areas around our operations are protected.

From the early planning stages, we are mindful of cultural and environmental sensitives and maintain this awareness throughout the life cycle of the project.

Our approach to protecting biodiversity and reducing our physical impact includes prioritizing the environment over convenience and location preferences, ongoing consultations with stakeholders, emergency response training for spill and incident preparedness, and proactive monitoring and asset integrity policies.

See ‘Our Stories’ for some examples of our Land Protection
“We take what we do very seriously. Cultural perspectives are not overlooked at Crew, instead they are looked at under a microscope to ensure our practices are not detrimental to the lands and communities Crew operates in.”

Casey Petras, Surface Land Coordinator, with Crew for 13 years

Strategies to Protect Land and Biodiversity

Pad Design

Unique project innovations and technology have been implemented to minimize cultural and environmental disturbances during drilling operations.

Horizontal drilling has revolutionized the oil and gas industry, allowing companies to drill a single horizontal well from one surface pad site that previously would have required as many as four separate pad sites to support vertical wells targeting the same amount of reservoir. Crew’s heavy oil asset team has taken that innovation a step further by planning and drilling multi-leg, extended reach, horizontal wells which significantly reduces surface land disturbances.

In British Columbia, the Company continues to reduce its surface footprint by developing its resource through the drilling of longer Extended Reach Horizontal (“ERH”) wells.  These longer wells ultimately reduce the number of wells needed to deplete a reservoir, reduce future development capital and minimize pipeline requirements.  Additionally, by concentrating the placement of wells on drilling pads, surface impact is minimized to one area as exhibited on our Greater Septimus 1-8 pad.  Recent wells have exceeded 4,000 metres in lateral length, allowing access to resource that would otherwise have been challenging and costly to access due to difficult terrain and environmental sensitivities.

Multi-well Pad Design

reduces environmental footprint with minimal ground disturbance


Spill management is supported and monitored by a combination of prevention, detection, and response approaches, which include:

  • Prevention
    Achieved through integrity management plans, ongoing inspections, and data gathering in the field including inline and ultra-sonic inspections.
  • Detection
    Through metering balances on liquid pipelines, high and low pressure shutdowns on pipelines, regularly flying pipeline right-of-ways, and daily monitoring.
  • Response
    With our active Emergency Response Program (“ERP”) for optimal preparedness and to ensure a timely response to any potential spill.  As a member of Western Canadian Spill Services, we have access to a shared network of oil spill containment and recovery units.  Digital Action Tracking System (DATS), an incident reporting tracking system, is used to track all incidents to document root cause, preventative measures, and remediation efforts.
Reportable Spills

*One spill of significance (180m3) occurred in 2020. A root cause assessment was completed and changes were implemented.

Asset Integrity

Our approach to integrity management is risk based and focuses on prevention and early detection of all potential degradation mechanisms. Crew has implemented a Safety and Loss Management System that incorporates Integrity Management Programs (“IMP’s”) for facilities and pipelines into a comprehensive action plan for managing our assets. We use risk assessments to prioritize mitigation activities with a focus on maintaining system containment, no matter how small the impact of the potential consequence.

  • Annual reviews of IMP’s, with the executive management team, are completed to assess our performance management systems and support continued success in implementation.
  • Multiple pipeline inspections each year – with a focus on those with higher potential consequence, or pipelines that are exposed to variable operating conditions – are carefully and continuously monitored to ensure safe reliable operations.
  • Tanks and secondary containment systems are externally inspected monthly and internally inspected on a regular preventative maintenance cycle.
  • Berms are inspected yearly.
  • C-rings used for holding produced water are inspected daily including containment integrity, wildlife deterrents are well kept, and secondary containment integrity is maintained.
  • Crew’s 5-year average pipeline performance is 0.000341 incidents/100km.
  • Industry performance is 0.89 incidents/100km*.

*Industry data from AER Alberta Pipeline Performance (Pipeline Performance | Alberta Energy Regulator (

Induced Seismicity

Mitigation of induced seismicity is taken seriously. It is discussed during project planning, monitored throughout operations, and reviewed after a hydraulic fracturing operation is complete.

Through proactive monitoring activities, risk assessments, project meetings, and continuous engagement with stakeholders, there have been no reports of felt seismic events associated with any of Crew’s hydraulic fracturing or disposal operations since July 2017.

Crew’s operations in the Greater Septimus and Tower areas lie within the boundary of the Kiskatinaw Seismic Monitoring & Mitigation Area (“KSMMA”), an area identified with an elevated concern of hydraulic fracturing and low to moderate level seismicity.  Crew works closely with the OGC and the B.C. Induced Seismicity Working Group to:

  • Assist in the determination of operational protocols in this region
  • Act as a liaison between operators in the area, and a geoscience consultant performing studies in the area
  • Act as an educator to community stakeholders regarding the engineering factors Crew employs in managing induced seismicity risks

Technology plays a big part in monitoring induced seismicity.  Crew maintains accelerometers that directly measure ground motion and seismometers that monitor and analyze current and past seismicity.  This technology assists in estimating future induced seismicity risk.

Crew has Zero induced seismicity reports since 2017.
Crew has maintained access to 23 broadband seismometers.

Biodiversity Assessments

Pre-site assessments are conducted and if required, wildlife sweeps are performed prior to initiating construction activities.

  • Crew hires professional Environmental Consultants to identify wildlife concerns and appropriate mitigation is performed to protect specific species of mammals, fish bearing waters, water foul, migrating birds, ungulates, or protected vegetation. Pre-site assessments are conducted and if required, wildlife sweeps are performed prior to initiating construction activities.
  • Crew owns land within 5 km of Worth Marsh, a sensitive wetland in proximity to Crew’s West Septimus operations, on lands held by The Nature Trust of British Columbia and managed by Ducks Unlimited. Worth Marsh and identified springs are specifically included in Crew’s corporate ERP regarding spill response.

“Our engagement with Crew started in 2014 as a result of interests in the same area of northeast BC. Since then, we have appreciated Crew’s proactive communication and open dialogue. Crew has been forthcoming in providing information and in answering any questions that the Nature Trust has had regarding Crew’s operations. In turn, as a land conservation organization, Crew has respected our values and approach to land stewardship.

With mutual understanding and collaboration, The Nature Trust of British Columbia looks forward to continuing our relationship with a shared goal of long term sustainability across the landscape.”

– The Nature Trust of British Columbia

“Crew’s commitment to preventative maintenance is commendable. The company’s culture of collaboration, accountability, respect, and social responsibility has always kept me engaged and wanting to be part of their success.”

– Gordon Eykelenboom, Pipeline Integrity Advisor with Pipe Optics Integrity Solutions, working with Crew for 13 years