2015 will see SWN Resources Canada – a company owned by Houston-based Southwestern Energy Company – drilling for new exploratory wells near New Brunswick, Canada. The drilling is planned in Kent County -in Saint-Charles and Galloway – and Queens County -in the vicinity of Bronston Settlement Road and the Pangburn area.
The company will not carry out any seismic testing in New Brunswick this year. It will be surveying the land and doing other preparations for drilling exploratory wells, including site construction. The drilling will commence next year.
The company will hold public consultations in the communities where exploratory wells are to be drilled. SWN says it will also be continuing its discussions with First Nations.
The wells planned for 2015 are exploratory wells, the drilling of which will not involve fracking, although hydraulic fracturing will be carried out at a later stage of the wells’ development. The prospect of shale gas wells in New Brunswick has sparked opposition and protests from the local inhabitants who worry about ground water pollution and damage to the environment.
Chad Peters, SWN’s new manager of explorations, said that the company will engage with the locals to try to educate them about the process of shale gas exploration. He also assured them that the work will be carried according to safety regulations, which will reduce any risk of ground water contamination.
“We remain confident and secure that we can do this work safely with responsible environment management practices, as we do throughout our work areas in the United States,” he said. “We’re going to continue to do that here.”
Earlier this month, SWN Resources Canada registered proposals with the provincial environment department to drill exploratory wells in two areas of New Brunswick – in Chipman and near Richibucto. This sparked a wave of protests from The Mi’kmaq and the Anglophone communities in the region.
SWN’s seismic testing program in the Kent County area last summer was also interrupted by violent protests. When the protesters were finally removed by the police, dozens of people were arrested and six vehicles were destroyed by fire.
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