A new wave of anti-shale exploration protests is to be expected in New Brunswick, Canada.
SWN Resources Canada – owned by Houston-based Southwestern Energy Company – have registered proposals with the provincial environment department to drill exploratory wells in two areas of New Brunswick – in Chipman and near Richibucto. It is this second location that attracted protests from the Mi’kmaq community of Elsipogtog, which is only about 17 kilometres west of Richibucto.
John Levi of The Mi’kmaq said “We are just getting ready to go back out there and stop them. It’s going to be rough, it ain’t no game. This is our livelihood that is at stake. We are not going to allow it. It’s like they are trying to kill us slowly.”
This is not the first time the community staged protests. The Mi’kmaq, in an alliance with Acadians and residents of Anglophone communities in the region, led months-long protests against SWN Resources Canada. The Mi’kmaq feared the discovery of shale gas would lead to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
SWN Resources Canada has completed its seismic testing of the land and has now submitted their proposed wells to the environmental committee for review. The review will include input from the public.
SWN wants to build two well pads for vertical drilling that will range in depths between 1,000 and 4,000 metres. The wells will enable the company to determine the geology of the play and assess whether drilling for shale gas in the plays is economically viable.
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