Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Firm Proposes New Wells as New Brunswick Muses about End to Fracking Moratorium

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Firm Proposes New Wells as New Brunswick Muses about End to Fracking Moratorium

Article excerpt

Firm proposes new wells if N.B. lifts fracking ban

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FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's premier says he wants to forge ahead with plans to lift the province's fracking moratorium, and will speak this week with a company ramping up its plans for new wells.

Corridor Resources currently has 32 producing wells in the Sussex area and operates a 50 kilometre pipeline, a gathering system comprising 15 kilometres of pipe, and a natural gas processing facility.

The company wants to expand but the previous Liberal government imposed a 2014 moratorium that prohibits hydraulic fracturing -- a process that involves pumping water and chemicals at high pressure to fracture shale rock and release gas.

The new Tory government has proposed lifting the moratorium in specific areas, such as the Sussex region, if there is public support.

On Monday, Premier Blaine Higgs said he planned to speak with Corridor CEO Steve Moran later this week.

"I want to understand the potential. I also want to do presentations with all parties on what we know about shale gas development," Higgs said.

"We have to do something in New Brunswick. We can't just say no and expect things to go well, but we can do it right," he said.

In a corporate presentation, the company says if the moratorium is lifted they would drill five vertical evaluation wells, complete three existing wells, identify "sweet spots," and drill a second round of up to five horizontal wells.

Moran did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

The company says with the impending end of Nova Scotia's offshore production, natural gas will have to come from outside the Maritimes if the New Brunswick deposit is not further developed.

"We're going to have a serious increase in gas prices as our resources run out over the next few years. We need to avoid some of these things that we know are coming down the pipe," Higgs said. …

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