A Calgary-based exploration company has made a big gas find near Fort Liard, N.W.T.

The National Energy Board has issued Lone Pine Resources a commercial discovery declaration signifying it found commercial quantities of gas in the shale near Fort Liard.

In a news release, the company said it believes the find could yield up to 12-million cubic feet of gas per day.

It would have to use hydraulic fracturing to get at the gas.

David Ramsay, N.W.T. minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, said horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing can reap huge benefits, despite the controversy around it.

"It's only controversial depending on who you talk to," he said.

"You know, it's not controversial to a state like North Dakota, who has seen their employment rate come out of the gutter and have one of the best employment rates in the United States, and it's all because of hydraulic fracturing and shale oil."

A commercial discovery declaration allows Lone Pine to apply for a 21-year lease to give it time to extract the gas.

But investors haven't been that impressed — the company's stock is languishing around $1 a share well below the $5 it traded at a year ago.