New Brunswick Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup says he wants Windsor Energy penalized for conducting seismic testing in Sussex without permission.
"I want to be very clear on that — there will be appropriate action taken," Northrup told CBC News on Thursday.
Natural Resources launched an investigation after complaints were made about the testing.
Seismotion, a contractor hired by Windsor Energy, originally asked for town approval to do tests within the community, and councillors arranged a special meeting in October, just ahead of the company's scheduled arrival, the department found.
But when Seismotion crews arrived in Sussex two days ahead of schedule, the company decided not to wait for town consent.
"I was shocked to be honest with you that this happened," said Northrup, whose Kings East riding includes Sussex.
Northrup said it is clear Windsor Energy broke the rules and did so intentionally.
In an interview, Northrup couldn't say exactly what action will be pursued against the company and he'll be talking to department staff about it.
"There can be fines levelled, there can be charges levelled," Northrup said.
Accuses Windsor Energy of disrespect
He said the allegedly illegal testing was a case of disrespect, and he wants Windsor's CEO Khalid Amin to apologize to the people of Sussex and New Brunswick.
Northrup said the investigation, launched two and a half weeks ago, turned up the need for stronger regulations on the emerging industry.
"Probably more regulations put in place because of this experience that we have had," said Northup.
The violation happened about 200 metres within the town limit of Sussex on Highway 1. Sussex Mayor Ralph Carr said he's glad the province is going after Windsor Energy and Amin. He said he called Amin last week, asking him to apologize, but Amin turned him down.
"I find the gentlemen to be quite arrogant actually," said Carr.
Windsor Energy has completed its testing for this year, although it has permits that would allow the company to keep testing into the spring.