SWN To Drill in Chipman, Richibucto, Pending Approval

15 04 2014

please forward to all lists and interested contacts

April 15, 2014

Message from Ann Pohl, an Upriver Kent County resident
contact info: by return email or 506-785-2998 (voicemail messages will be returned)

Today I spoke with Crystale Harty, the Govt of NB’s (GNB) Environmental Assessment Project Manager for this brand-new little SWN Resources Canada exploration program initiative. Any media or anyone else that would like to contact Crystale, her phone number is 506-444-5382, and her email isCrystale.Harty@gnb.caHere is what I learned from my conversation with her:

GNB’s Dept of Environment and Local Government (ELG) received two project applications from SWN Resources Canada very late on Friday evening, April 11. These applications have not yet been posted to the ELG’s public online notice board for EIA applications, however… Harty and staff started looking at it first thing on Monday morning. They are already in the process of forming up the EIATechnical Review Committee which would approve the application. Harty tells me that the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health will be on that committee. I have not yet had a chance to confirm that this request was sent to CMOH fromELG.

The SWN Resources Canada contact is their brand new Manager of SWN’s NB Explorations Operation, Chad Peters, at the same old office in Moncton, phone number 506-382-2603. I managed to get a few details from EIA Manager Harty, as follows:

  • There are two proposals: one in the Chipman area and one in theRichibucto area. The one in the Richibucto area is on Crown Land, in the lower St. Charles area.
  • At this time, with these applications, there would be vertical drilling with no fracking and no horizontal drills, to look at the “stratigraphy” — ie the layers, what sort of rock is there, etc. I imagine SWN will also be looking at oil and gas content readings but this was not mentioned by Harty. These vertical drills would go down anywhere from 1000m to 4000m (aka 1km – 4 km), and the purpose is to continue collection of their exploration data, so that SWN can determine if commercial shale gas mining is profitable here.

SWN is planning to be open and consultative:

  • the documents will be posted in their entirety in public libraries (Chipman and Richibucto – Richibucto does not have it yet);
  • ads inviting comments will be placed in the Irving-owned newspapers (not L’Acadie Nouvelle, I asked…);
  • regional ELG offices will have copies of the documents;
  • SWN will make a website with their info and to get comments (I told her that lots of people here could not use this medium for this purpose);
  • SWN will send their land agents door to door to talk to neighbours within 1.8 km of the two project sites;
  • SWN will have “meetings with First Nations groups” (did not get any more info on that).

O&G shale mining companies like to come in initially with something that looks benign and small, etc. The EIA process used by GNB in recent years has facilitated that underhandedness by considering subsequent applications as various phases of the same first one, when obviously more was always being planned. This is so insidiously incremental, this little phase and then the next, and the next. In this case, I predict the next “little” itsy-bitsy phase SWN will ask nicely to do is a wee little sideways drill, with a teensy little hydraulic frack, etc.

If we want to stop fracking in our area we must stop this next “phase” of exploration now. 

 

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