New Brunswick: Gas development rules issued

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 28
– The eastern Canadian province of New Brunswick, which has two fields that produce natural gas and growing interest in shale gas formations, has issued stronger requirements for natural gas development.

The provincial government’s Natural Gas Steering Committee issued rules under which oil and gas companies who want to engage in exploration, development, and production will have to:

• Conduct baseline testing on all potable water wells within 200 m of seismic testing and 500 m of oil or gas drilling before operations can begin. These will be minimum requirements and may be increased depending upon the situation.

• Provide full disclosure of all proposed, and actual, contents of all fluids and chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process.

• Establish a security bond to protect property owners from industrial accidents, including the loss of or contamination of drinking water, that places the burden of proof on industry.

The provincial government has also committed to develop a formula so landowners and nearby communities can share in the financial benefits of the natural gas industry.

Environment Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney said the requirements will be part of the natural gas action plan being developed under the direction of the committee. Blaney said the government will continue to develop its regulatory framework.

The committee includes the ministers and deputy ministers of the departments of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources and has a mandate to ensure any expansion of the gas sector is done in a careful and responsible manner.

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