SWN Resources cancels Kent meeting over safety concerns
Shale gas developer was planning to meet with municipal officials about exploration plans
A shale gas developer has cancelled a meeting with municipal officials in Kent County at the last minute, citing concerns for personal safety.
SWN Resources Canada officials were scheduled to meet with the Saint-Louis-de-Kent and Richibucto council members on Tuesday night to discuss the company's plans for seismic testing in the region this summer and answer any questions.
But the company emailed a statement at 5:12 p.m., saying it had "received information that led to concerns for the personal safety of those scheduled to attend this meeting."
Shale gas opponents had said they planned to be at the closed-door meeting.
SWN said the meeting wll be rescheduled "for a later date."
"SWN Resources Canada remains committed to our exploration program in the province and will continue to address concerns and questions from New Brunswickers," the statement said.
The company intends to move foward with seismic exploration across 210 kilometres of eastern New Brunswick.
The testing is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.
The Upriver Environment Watch of Kent County has set up a hotline and a website, inviting people to call, email or post whenever they see shale gas exploration happening.
Earlier in May, a civil disobedience workshop was held in Kent County to offer ideas on how to peacefully oppose shale gas exploration.
SWN suspended all seismic testing in New Brunswick in August, 2011 following numerous protests and alleged vandalism by people concerned about the controversial hydraulic fracturing process.
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as hydro-fracking, is a process where exploration companies inject a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the ground, creating cracks in shale rock formations to extract natural gas from areas that would otherwise go untapped.
Opponents are concerned the process will ruin the water supply.
Energy Minister Craig Leonard has said the new rules governing the oil and gas industry in New Brunswick will be among the strictest in North America.