SWN Canada to resume shale gas exploration soon: Alward

New Brunswick's premier says SWN Canada plans to resume shale gas exploration in Kent County in the coming weeks.

Aboriginal activists vow to continue protesting

Hydraulic fracturing, or "hydro-fracking," is a form of natural gas extraction in which a pressurized mix of water and other substances is injected into shale rock formations or coal beds to release trapped natural gas. A fluid mixture of water and chemicals is injected under high pressure deep underground, creating or widening fissures in the rock.

New Brunswick's premier says SWN Canada plans to resume shale gas exploration in Kent County in the coming weeks.

David Alward confirmed to reporters that SWN is expected to be back in Kent County after halting its work in the wake of road blockades and a police crackdown.

“We support that exploration fully and we look forward to them being able to finish the work they've begun," he said on the weekend.

Alward repeated that his government has tried to address aboriginal and environmental objections to shale gas development.

Kesley Saulis, a university student from Tobique First Nation, said he's upset to hear SWN is likely to resume exploration soon.

“This company should not be here. Nobody in New Brunswick should be supporting this company, because they're not here for us. They're here for themselves,” he said.

On Oct. 17, an anti-shale gas protest near Rexton turned violent after RCMP moved in to enforce a court injunction obtained by SWN against a blockade.

Protesters are concerned about the potential impacts of shale gas development in New Brunswick using hydraulic fracturing.

That technology involves injecting water, chemicals and sand into the earth at high pressure to fracture shale rock to release the natural gas within it. Protesters are concerned that process could harm groundwater supplies.

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