New Brunswick

SWN Resources granted exploration licence extension despite moratorium

The Gallant government has given SWN Resources a one-year extension on its exploration licence, despite a moratorium on shale gas development in New Brunswick.

Company given another year, provided 5 conditions met, says Energy Minister Donald Arseneault

The Gallant government has given SWN Resources a one-year extension on its exploration licence, despite a moratorium on shale gas development in New Brunswick.

Energy Minister Donald Arseneault refuses to predict if the fracking moratorium will ever be lifted. (CBC)
​SWN has already told the provincial government it plans to shift its resources elsewhere because of the moratorium bill, which hasn't passed yet.

But Energy Minister Donald Arseneault says he's willing to extend the company's exploration licence as long as it realizes five conditions must be met before the moratorium is lifted.

"I'm not going to predict if the moratorium will ever be lifted. Maybe it will. Maybe it won't. But we had to look at the whole situation we're facing right now," he said.

"We had a company that wanted to continue their investments in New Brunswick. At the same time, also understanding they cannot do that this year, in terms of having a moratorium in place, and specific conditions that are in place."

The government's five conditions include: "social licence" from communities, clear information on health and environmental impacts, a wastewater plan, First Nations consultations, and a new royalty structure.

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