Corridor Resources isn’t giving up on shale gas in New Brunswick

5 11 2014

Steve Moran says his company’s shareholders ‘see past’ any ‘short-term negativity’ around shale gas

CBC News Posted: Nov 05, 2014 6:36 AM AT Last Updated: Nov 05, 2014 6:36 AM AT

The chief executive officer of Corridor Resources Inc., says shale gas is a long-term business and his company isn’t ready to give up on New Brunswick yet.

Steve Moran was responding to mixed messages from the Liberal government on a pending shale gas moratorium.

Steve Moran, CEO of Corridor Resources

Steve Moran, CEO of Corridor Resources, says his company needs flexibility from the New Brunswick government. (Jacques Poitras/CBC)

​The company’s shareholders are not worried in the short-term, said Moran.

“They see that the plays that we have in New Brunswick are long-term plays. So any short-term negativity, I think most of our shareholders would see past that,” he said.

“But you know, as a public company, we’re always concerned about any interruptions in our operations.”

In addition, Moran said there is no guarantee Corridor could keep supplying the potash mine in Penobsquis with natural gas if there’s a moratorium.

The Corridor CEO said Premier Brian Gallant is wrong to suggest there is plenty of gas already available.

“We couldn’t go indefinitely,” Moran said of the already-fracked wells in Penobsquis, near Sussex.

Corridor has been extracting gas at the site for a decade — gas which is currently used to power the nearby PotashCorp mine.

Interim Progressive Conservative Leader Bruce Fitch said that’s why the Liberal plan for a fracking moratorium is a bad idea.

“If the potash mines had to go to a heavier fuel, or a different fuel, it could cost them more, which would cost jobs,” he said.

Fracking with water or propane both ‘safe’

Last week, Gallant suggested fracked wells in the province have a significant amount of gas.

Melanson and Gallant

Premier Brian Gallant campaigned on imposing a moratorium on shale gas development during this year’s election campaign. (CBC)

“You would have some of the wells that could produce for about 10 to 20 years,” he said.

Moran said he doesn’t know how much gas PotashCorp is going to need in the long-term, but the idea of relying on already fracked wells doesn’t make business sense for Corridor.

“By and large, our job is to keep on drilling wells, keep on trying to supply not just to Potash, but all the other customers that we have,” he said.

Gallant also opened the door to treating different types of fracking with water differently than fracking with propane in deciding how to set up his promised moratorium.

“And we’re certainly open to look at exactly what type of risks each would pose, how much information we have about each extraction method,” hes said.

Corridor, which has used liquid propane to frack some of its wells, needs flexibility from the government, said Moran.

“Both methods are safe. Both methods are environmentally friendly,” he said.

Companies like Corridor pick one or the other depending on what works best with the geological formation being fracked,” said Moran, adding the science is moving too quickly to restrict a particular category.

“Ultimately we need the flexibility of being able to use both. With any play, you want to have the flexibility of using all the tools in your toolbox to try to figure out the exact best way to stimulate the rock.”

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