Living in the middle of a gas field in Canada

Living in the middle of a gas field by Vicky Simlik, April 18, 2019, Dawson Creek Mirror

I live in the agricultural community of Farmington BC.

I recently read a question posted online; where are the ‘fracking voices’ from NEBC?

I considered the question.

Trying to live in the middle of a gas field one may not have the luxury of time, energy and clear thought to post on social media about the experience here.

Witnessing the rapid pace of industrial shale gas development and the excessive infrastructure that comes with it can be shocking and overwhelming in a community.

Life in a rural area often involves calving, lambing, seeding, working, childcare and life in general. When shale gas moves in it dominates! People are inundated with companies, contractors, phone calls, surveyors, the Oil & Gas Commission, consultation, notifications, surface rights board hearings and oil & gas appeal tribunals, permits and approvals. The ‘temporary’ drilling operation and everything that goes with it turns your environment into mind bending noise, vibration, dust and industrial equipment all working at the same time.

The assault continues with fracking of wells, completions of wells, pipelines, flow lines, gas lines, water lines, stadium lighting, surveying and resurveying, ammendments, earthquakes, flares and more flares, notices, land agent, new land agent, telephone calls, letters, emails, another land agent. Repeat.

The BC government offers companies road credits, infrastructure credits and encourages drilling in spring, summer, winter & fall. There’s always more to come.

I sent a short video to a friend who wanted to know what it’s like to ‘live by fracking’. The video I sent to her was not of fracking but of a well site being prepared. I warned her to “turn down the volume on the video before you hit play or the noise might blast you out of your chair.”

After a landowner’s exhaustive attempts to address concerns or to try and resolve the things that can never be resolved, your land may be expropriated anyway.

Our land is changing and an area that used to be the driest spot in our hayfield is turning into a bog. This short video shows surface deformation in a gas field from petroleum extraction and it’s worth a look:

When this industry moves into a community there is no opting out or ‘no thank you we don’t want any’. We all share the bad air, disruptions, destruction, sleep deprivation and disturbed pets & livestock. My old dog spent the last year of his life frequently struggling to his feet because of the induced earthquakes and floor vibrations. It’s hell!

I’m not thriving because of BC’s shale oil & gas industry. In my experience, it’s been more like a slow kill.

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