SWN Resources Canada plans to drill exploratory wells in New Brunswick

SWN Resources Canada says exploratory wells are intended to better understand the data gathered in previous phases of exploration for shale gas. (SWN Resources Canada)

SWN Resources Canada plans to drill two exploratory wells in New Brunswick, according to the company's website.

The site does not indicate where or when the drilling will be, but the wells are intended to help the company better understand the data gathered in the early phases of shale gas exploration.

SWN completed its controversial seismic testing in the Rexton area on Dec. 6.

The company spent months mapping shale gas deposits in Kent County and faced ongoing protests by people opposed to development of the industry in the province and the possible environmental impact.

Exploratory wells involve drilling a vertical hole to take samples of the various rock layers to better understand the geology, the website states. It says typical depths for such wells range from 2,000 to 3,000 metres.

Susan Levi-Peters, former chief of Elsipogtog First Nation, says if SWN intends to move forward with drilling, she hopes the provincial government will consult with First Nations communities first.

'There's a lot of things that need to be looked into. And I think we need to fix all that stuff before we move to bring a company back in.' - Susan Levi-Peters

"There's no any other way … It'll be another battle again, going back to what's been happening all summer and fall of 2013," said Levi-Peters, who participated in the protests.

On Nov. 27, she stood in the middle of Highway 11 in Sainte-Anne-de-Kent, blocking SWN's exploration trucks and defying a court order obtained by the company to keep protesters from interfering in its work.

"I don't think the premier or even the people of New Brunswick want to go through that all over again. I think we need to sit down and look at this properly," said Levi-Peters.

"There's a lot of things that need to be looked into. And I think we need to fix all that stuff before we move to bring a company back in and maybe, you don't know what can happen, there might be another big protest. The premier has to fix the old wound first."

Department of Energy and Mines officials say they cannot comment on the SWN's intentions.

No one from SWN was available to elaborate on the company's plans.