The New Brunswick government will not put a moratorium on shale gas development in the province, Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup said on Friday.

The Quebec government imposed a moratorium on the practice earlier this week after receiving a major report.

Northrup told CBC News in an interview on Friday that he is watching the developments in Quebec but he will not follow the same path.

"We are not putting a moratorium in place," Northrup said.

The natural resources minister said the shale gas exploration is still at the early stages in New Brunswick.


Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup said New Brunswick will not impose a moratorium on hydro-fracking. ((CBC))

Shale gas development uses a controversial practice called hydro-fracking.

Northrup said a full shale gas operation would not be ready for three to four years. So the natural resources minister said the provincial government has time to make sure the proper process is in place.

"We have time to do it. We are taking this in a slow process. We are not doing it overnight," he said.

"We are going to do our homework and we are going to do this right."

There are calls from environmentalists in New Brunswick to halt shale gas development.

David Coon, the executive director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, said the New Brunswick government should follow Quebec's lead.

Hydro-fracking is a process where companies pump a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the ground, creating cracks in shale rock formations. That allows companies to extract natural gas from areas that would otherwise go untapped.