Shale Gas is a Bogus Issue

10 04 2014

Shale gas is a bogus issue

The current government is presenting shale gas as a primary election issue. The government contends that shale gas presents an opportunity to pull the province out of its economic slump.

Voters should be aware that the promotion of shale gas as an economic saviour is a bogus proposition. Here’s why.

Not one new exploratory or commercial gas well was drilled in the province in 2013, and none are scheduled in 2014.

Actual leases for commercial oil and gas development in the province have declined by 30 per cent since 2010, including holdings of Corridor Resources, PetroWorth and Windsor Energy. There have been no takers for the expired leases. A similar decrease has occurred in the areas under licences to search.

 SWN, who holds a licence to search, and not a lease, hasn’t identified a single gas reserve in four years of exploration, and has received two, one-year extensions to fulfill its financial obligations under its original licence.

The province has had several opportunities to place SWN in default. It hasn’t done so; there would be no takers for an uneconomic licence.

Twenty-nine existing gas wells have largely been depleted, and have produced little employment and minimal royalties.

These wells also require multiple dangerous propane and hydraulic re-fracks to continue to limp along.

Elsewhere in the country where gas reserves exist, drilling is going on at a frantic pace. If the fictional 63 trillion cubic feet of viable gas reserves actually existed under New Brunswick, nothing could stop these same companies from drilling here.

Don’t allow the hype in the legislature and media convince you that your vote should be swayed by positions on shale gas; it’s a bogus issue. The sooner we get on with dealing with the real economic issues, the better off the electorate and province will be.

Lawrence Wuest

Stanley

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