Alberta mother fights five neighbouring fracked wells

Andrew Nikiforuk
Diana Daunheimer found this large sump pit, or dugout designed to store drilling waste, at a wellsite northeast of her property in July 2012. Photo: Diana Daunheimer.

When a tight oil boom invaded rural Alberta five years ago, Diana Daunheimer was, as she puts it, just another "ignorant landowner." The mother of two and vegetable farmer knew little about the practice of horizontal drilling or multi-stage hydraulic fracturing. The practice involves the injection of highly pressurized fluids into mile deep wells that later mole out horizontally for another mile or two, in order to break open shale rock as tight as granite.