SWN Resources Canada will pour several million dollars into the New Brunswick economy when it starts to dig its four test wells next year, the manager of explorations told the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.


SWN Resources Canada says it will pump several million dollars into the New Brunswick economy when it starts to dig its four test wells in 2015. (CBC)

SWN Resources will need to hire contractors, truckers and many others, said Chad Peters.

The company also hopes to get 90 per cent of the supplies the company needs in the province, said Peters, a former Moncton public relations consultant who is the new voice of SWN Resources in New Brunswick.

Peters offered a lengthy list of supplies that the company will need as it moves forward.

"Winch trucks, semi-trailer trucks, cement trucks, gravel trucks, vacuum trucks, portable toilets, light plants, portable toilet units, water tanker trucks, fuel tank trucks, refrigerator trucks, vans, snowplows, graders, back hoes, front end loaders, fork lifts, cranes, ditchers," he said.

"Pressure washers, mobile telephone systems, satellite communications equipment, sawdust supplies, welders with portable units, fence suppliers and installers, tree cutters, laundry services … to name a few."

Program to save fresh water

Shale gas protest at legislature

Shale gas opponents fear the hydro-fracking process will cause water and air pollution. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

Peters said SWN has also launched a program to save fresh water, making it the first oil and gas company to replenish or offset the fresh water it uses.

"For each litre of fresh water that we use in our operations, we will replenish or offset an equivalent amount through conservation and innovation," he said.

In the United States, SWN is now using non-potable water in its drilling operations instead of fresh water, Peters told the crowd.

The company has also worked with the Nature Conservancy and other environmental groups to protect wetlands in the United States, he said.

The same plan will be in effect if SWN finds enough oil or gas in New Brunswick, said Peters.

Meanwhile, the company will spend the rest of the year preparing for its drilling program in 2015 — obtaining permits, meeting with concerned citizens and trying to recruit local suppliers.

2 wells in Kent County, 2 in Queens County

Two of the exploratory wells are planned for Kent County, in Saint-Charles and Galloway. The other two are planned for Queens County, in the vicinity of Bronston Settlement Road and the Pangburn area.

A well site is typically about three hectares, or 7.5 acres, in size. The depths of exploratory wells range from 1,000 to 4,000 metres.

The wells are used to collect rock samples and get a better understanding of the geology of the region and whether it's feasible to develop the shale gas industry in the province.

SWN says the wells will not be hydraulically fractured at this time.

Hydraulic fracturing, or hydro-fracking, is a process that involves injecting a mixture of water, air and chemicals into the earth under high pressure to fracture shale rock and release gas trapped within the rock formations.

Opponents of the shale gas industry have long argued the hydro-fracking process can cause water and air pollution.

Last month, a report by 14 international experts, commissioned by Environment Canada, concluded "data about potential environmental impacts are neither sufficient nor conclusive."

The prospect of shale gas development in New Brunswick has sparked protests across the province.

A protest along Highway 11 near Rexton on Oct. 17 ended in a violent clash with police. Six RCMP vehicles were set on fire and about 40 protesters were arrested.