New Brunswick

Sussex rallies to lift shale gas moratorium

People and businesses in the Sussex area gathered on Thursday and called for the Gallant government to lift its moratorium on shale gas development, at least for their communities.

People and businesses want natural gas development to continue in Sussex area

People gathered in Sussex on Thursday to call on the Gallant government to allow shale gas development in their area. (Rachel Cave/CBC)

People and businesses in the Sussex area gathered on Thursday and called for the Gallant government to lift its moratorium on shale gas development, at least for their communities.

Corridor Resources already operates 32 natural gas wells in the area, producing up to 7 million cubic feet of gas per day that is delivered to the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline.

Steve Moran, the chief executive officer of Corridor Resources, has stated the company now has $70 million worth of capital investment for proposed wells on hold indefinitely due to the government-imposed moratorium.

The Gallant government imposed the moratorium shortly after being elected in 2014 and set out a number of conditions that needed to be met before the moratorium would be lifted.

One of those conditions is that a "social licence" exists to extract natural gas through the controversial method of hydraulic fracturing, which involves injecting a mixture of sand, water and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to free gas trapped in rock formations.

The Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline runs behind Stephen Moffett's farm. (Rachel Cave/CBC)
"The excuse of no social licence does not carry in Sussex, look around you," said Paul Bedford, who moved back to the Sussex area from Alberta to establish QC Pumps and Compressors to support the oil and gas industry in the province.

Stephen Moffett, a local farmer, told the gathering the natural gas industry literally runs through his back yard and the decision about whether to allow fracking is "easy for me."

"My kids work in Calgary. Corridor has never been anything but good to work with," said Moffatt.

"They answered my questions. They hired my kid to do work for them."

On May 27, the Gallant government announced it was indefinitely extending the moratorium, saying it was clear the government's conditions for lifting the moratorium couldn't be satisfied "in the foreseeable future."

With files from Rachel Cave

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