Postby Oscar » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:20 am

New Brunswick introduces new review process for fracking projects

Friday, November 26th, 2010

The Telegraph-Journal reports that, “A new environmental review process that will require government approval at nearly every stage of a project’s development will become the standard for oil and gas exploration ventures in New Brunswick. The approach, known as a phased environmental impact assessment, will mean companies looking for underground resources will trigger the environmental review process much sooner than they would have in the past.”

“The (New Brunswick Department of Environment) began considering the new review process earlier this year after citizens expressed concern over certain shale gas exploration practices.”

“Current environmental assessment rules in New Brunswick only require a company to register for a review once they are set to commercially extract gases or minerals… By then, however, companies have already built a well pad, drilled the bore hole and performed tests to determine how much of the resource is there. …A phased EIA approach will ensure proper planning is applied during these early stages of a project…”

“It will be applied for the first time in the gas sector to Corridor Resources Inc. and Apache Canada’s shale gas project near Elgin. …The firm, a subsidiary of Houston’s Apache Corp., was brought into New Brunswick in a farm-out agreement with Halifax-based Corridor Resources, which has rights to explore and develop oil and gas in a swathe of land equal to one-seventh of the province. Apache drilled two wells in the Elgin area this summer and began the process of hydraulic fracturing earlier this month. The company says the Moncton shale rock basin holds significant potential for natural gas and optimistic projections would see them decide in 2013 to develop the resource, drilling as many as 32 wells per year for up to 30 years. …Representatives with Apache could not be reached for comment on Thursday.”

In late-March it was first reported that US-owned Apache Canada Ltd. and Halifax-based Corridor Resources Inc. would begin drilling and exploration work for natural gas in the Elgin area of southern New Brunswick in June, and that this natural gas in the Frederick Brook formation would require hydraulic fracturing - or ‘fracking’ - to access.

More on that at

In October, news reports indicated that the City of Moncton had been selling its drinking water for $1.58 a cubic metre to Apache Canada for their testing in the Frederick Brook formation. By November, those water sales had been stopped.

More on that at

Today’s Telegraph-Journal article is at ... le/1325006.
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MUST WATCH: Be... Without Water?

Postby Oscar » Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:42 pm

MUST WATCH: Be... Without Water? ... ture=share

A GREAT new documentary about Penobsquis and the Shale Gas movement in New Brunswick - pass it to ALL of your contacts - around the Planet!

Be... Without Water?

About sixty families in Penobsquis near Sussex have wells that have gone dry, and now have to pay to have water. They are seeking compensation from Potash Corp. which, they believe, is responsible for their water loss. They have little hope of receiving anything from the multi-billion dollar U.S. based corporation.

Twenty eight concerned citizen groups are demanding that at least a moratorium be placed on the billion-dollar shale gas industry operations until the "infant industry" methods can be proven to be safe. Citizens are worried about well water contamination, heavy industrialization of rural areas, increasing pollution, a decrease in the value of their homes, etc. When damage is done to their property, they fear that they will not receive any compensation, unless they are able to prove that the damage is the result of shale gas operations.

This documentary by filmmaker Rob Turgeon, looks at these two situations of people in conflict with big business in New Brunswick.

Are multi-billion dollar corporations coming into New Brunswick responsible corporate citizens?
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Hundreds protest hydro-fracking in Fredericton

Postby Oscar » Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:47 am

Hundreds protest hydro-fracking in Fredericton

CBC News Posted: Nov 19, 2011 12:44 PM AT
Last Updated: Nov 19, 2011 6:10 PM AT

Related Links - (Links on wwebsite)
SWN says N.B.'s underground gas widespread
Hydro-fracking: Are we ready?
Gas exploration company defends hydro-fracking

Police estimate more than 600 people gathered for a hydro-fracking rally in Fredericton, New Brunswick Saturday.

An alliance made up of 28 community groups organized the event to show the Alward government it doesn't want shale gas development in the province.

Among the groups were members of the St. Mary's First Nation, who set up a large teepee on the front lawn of the provincial legislature.

Angee Acquin, a member of the community, said they're planning on staying there until the legislature opens on Wednesday.

"We're here because we have a stake in our New Brunswick government, and we've put a pretty big stake on the government right now with our teepee, literally. And I think that's what needs to happen," Acquin said.

They say the development of shale gas in New Brunswick is unacceptable and they want the government to put an end to it.

"I've seen firsthand that regulations cannot cover everything. They will not. You cannot control how the soil's going to react with all these forces exerting on it,"said Maxime Daigle, one of the protestors, who has worked in the oil and gas industry.

Hydro-fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, is a controversial practice that injects a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the ground, creating cracks in shale rock formations so that natural gas can be released from areas that would otherwise go untapped.

Earlier this week, federal Environment Minister Peter Kent said while he has the power to stop hydro-fracking in N.B., he's waiting on a review from the Council of Canadian Academies on hydro-fracking.


- - - - -

at 11:05 AM ET
Too many unanswered questions remain on this process.
The fact that most companies have failed to uphold basic environmental controls at test wells should be enough of a warning to all.
The onus should be on the people that stand to benefit from this to PROVE it's safe.
The onus should not be on the people that stand to loose the most to TRUST the former blindly.
If it is safe, show us the data that proves it, case closed.... what no data? Hmmmmm.....

at 11:18 AM ET
I can't tell you how much it irks me to my core when people protest "fracking" when clearly they don't understand the geologic and engineering variables which go into the process. We are talking about 1000's of meters under the ground and a wide variety of rock types which have prevented the escape of hydrocarbons to the surface over geologic time. The type of fractures created for the release of hydrocarbons into a wellbore are unlikey to tap into the water table.

at 12:30 PM ET
oh, so we're looking to get flammable drinking water here in Canada too huh, yup, always count on private corps to do what's right...BTW, you can find plenty examples of the flammable drinking water due to fracking in the US on youtube

at 12:49 PM ET
Joemajom and anybody who missed today's rally, there will be another rally on Wednesday Nov. 23 in front of the Legislature at noon:

Anybody opposed to shale gas in the province, join and stand united with your fellow New Brunswickers on Wednesday Nov 23 from noon till afternoon. CUPE has formed a national resolution against shale gas and they will be bringing their message also to the Legislature on Wednesday!

Since noon today, the Legislature is being occupied until next week! Go and visit, people are bringing their message directly to the grounds of the Legislature now and for the days to come!

at 2:42 PM ET
Wow! I can't believe there are still people that don't think hydro-fracking is dangerous! Come on people! Take 5 minutes to research the internet! You don't have to look too far, or be a genius to see how scary this monster is. Is this industry really worth these risks?
If this industry does get a take off in NB, I would love to hear how many of you gain personally from it!

- - - - - -

Throwing gas on the fracking fire ... le/1456239

Published Wednesday November 16th, 2011 D6
By Alec Bruce Times & Transcript

A made-in-Canada technology that uses propane to extract natural gas from sedimentary rock without fouling water tables or harming the environment in any other discernible way is one of those feats of engineering that qualifies, to the untrained layman, as weird science.

Weirder still, however, is why news of the technique has not yet reached the eyes and ears of most people in New Brunswick - where the debate over hydraulic fracturing has become a pitched battle between intractable foes - even though 'gas fracking' has been tested successfully at development plays just outside Moncton.

According to a report posted on earlier this month, Phillip Knoll, president of Halifax-based Corridor Resources (one of two major exploration companies currently operating in New Brunswick) says the procedure works.

"We had absolutely tremendous results that compared favourably with other techniques," he enthused in the article. "The technology is improving substantially."

Specifically, the technology, developed and patented by Calgary-based GasFrac, pumps propane emulsion into shale, cracking the formations and liberating the gas therein.

Says the article: "Unlike water, the gel does a kind of disappearing act underground. It reverts to vapor due to pressure and heat, then returns to the surface - along with the natural gas - for collection, possible reuse and ultimate resale. And, also unlike water, propane does not carry back to the surface drilling chemicals, ancient seabed salts and underground radioactivity."

Added GasFrac's Chief Technology Officer Robert Lestz: "We leave the nasties in the ground, where they belong."

If this is true (and the claims are not just more pennies for industry's wishing well), then are we not now sitting on a credible alternative to the extraordinarily controversial water-based method, which has riven polluted communities across North America? More pointedly, perhaps, shouldn't the provincial government aggressively research the broad commercial potential of a technique that is, apparently, both productive and benign before the arched hyperbole on both sides of the issue finally devolves into irredeemable nonsense?

Premier Alward and his ruling Tories are staring into the maw of the toughest challenge any New Brunswick government has faced in modern times.

Cavernously deep, annual deficits and long-term debt have effectively hobbled meaningful progress in almost every sphere of public administration.

The size of the civil service is unsustainably large. Health care, social and education costs are badly aligned with available resources.

And economic development, despite some promising initiatives up north, is proceeding with all the haste of an advancing glacier.

Like it or not, shale gas promises enormous boons for the province at a time when it most needs them. Some estimates peg the yearly royalties accruing from a fully developed industry at more than $400 million - a nice chunk of rolling change for a province that, apart from all its other financial burdens, must soon worry about a $2-billion capital upgrade (or decommission) of the Mactaquac hydroelectric plant.

Still, drilling only makes sense if the social and environmental costs do not exceed the putative economic benefits. Unfortunately, the provincial government has found little to comfort the growing number of New Brunswickers, from all walks of life and political persuasions, who are convinced that Fredericton's latest league of extraordinary ladies and gentlemen is simply spooning with its Big Gas paramour.

That the propane procedure is not well known outside industry circles may only suggest that the companies currently engaged in testing and exploration consider the technology experimental or, more likely, prohibitively expensive.

Indeed, exploiting a free, public resource (water), rather than a refined petrochemical, to meet their financial objectives is the logical, if amoral, choice.

But the private sector's narrow, bottom-line preoccupations should not supersede the public interest.

And, in this respect, the provincial government is obligated to openly explore all options that may serve to heal the rift between producers and consumers, between corporations and communities.

For the sake of New Brunswick's long-term economic future, this is a conversation we need to have, even if (especially if) the science behind gas fraccing turns out to be truly weird, after all.

* Alec Bruce is a Moncton-based writer on politics, economics and current affairs. His column appears in this space Monday through Friday.
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First Nations Atlantic region express concern about fracking

Postby Oscar » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:39 pm

First Nations in the Atlantic region express concern about fracking

By Brent Patterson, Friday, December 2nd, 2011

CBC reports, "There is concern about the impact of the (fracking) industry on the environment and the level of consultation the provincial government has had with First Nations communities in New Brunswick."

The Maliseet Grand Council - "Harry LaPorte, the Grand Chief of the Maliseet Grand Council, said he is concerned about the effects drilling and the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, which is used to extract natural gas from shale formations, could have on the province’s water supply." The Grand Chief says, "It (the mix of water, sand and chemicals used in the process) has a tendency to leak into our wells, our drinking water, our lakes, our streams, our rivers. And the things, the chemicals that they pump in to Mother Earth to cause this fracking, leaks out into our water. You know, our water is life, right? Nothing lives without water, so if our waters are contaminated that means no life around."

The St. Mary’s First Nation - "Angee Acquin, a member of the St. Mary’s First Nation near Fredericton, said she agrees with LaPorte’s concerns over the water supply. She helped construct a large teepee on the front lawn of the provincial legislature the day of its opening session. ‘This is our traditional grounds right here in downtown Fredericton,’ she said. ‘We as First Nations people, we have a responsibility to Mother Earth, below the four inches that other people might own. We have a responsibility to be caretakers to the Earth.’ St. Mary’s Chief Candice Paul said she’s heard from many members of her community who share Acquin’s concerns. …The province is legally obligated to hold meaningful consultations with First Nations people before developments like shale gas can go ahead. (But) Paul said that hasn’t happened, and is calling on the government to cancel all existing exploration licences, and come back to the table with First Nations."

The Assembly of First Nations - Unfortunately, "Roger Augustine, the regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, representing New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, said there is a division within the community. (While acknowledging some are expressing concerns, Augustine says), ‘I also know in some parts of Alberta, the First Nations are conducting business with mining companies that use the fracking system.’ Elsipogtog Chief Jesse Simon, who is also the co-chair of the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs in New Brunswick, is one who shares this view. He said he agrees with the philosophy that First Nations people haven’t been properly consulted or accomodated throughout the process. But he’s also waiting to collect information on possible economic and environmental effects, should a shale gas industry take off in the next few years."

The Waycobah First Nation - Earlier this year, the Halifax Chronicle Herald reported, "Local residents (in Inverness County, Nova Scotia) and members of the nearby Waycobah First Nation have expressed concerns (that fracking by PetroWorth near Lake Ainslie) could be used to extract the resource from the shale."

The Council of Canadians opposes fracking because of its high water use, its high carbon emissions, its impacts on human health, the disruption it causes to wildlife, and the danger it poses to groundwater and local drinking water. We are calling for a country-wide stop to fracking operations. We will also be launching a petition campaign shortly to put pressure on the federal government to step into a leadership role and ensure that our water sources, people’s health and the environment are protected from unnecessary and dangerous pollution
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Fracking concerns in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

Postby Oscar » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:40 pm

Fracking concerns in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

By Brent Patterson, Friday, December 2nd, 2011

CBC reports, "Every state and provincial jurisdiction in North America has different rules for oil and gas extraction, but when it comes to shale gas, a common theme emerges: science and regulation have lagged behind the rapid growth of the industry."

"Nova Scotia’s Dexter government has launched a review of its regulations, but (Hants County resident Ken) Summers said it should have happened long ago, before the industry even began testing." To read the Council of Canadians submission to the Nova Scotia review process, please see

"In preparing its own regulations on fracking, the Alward government (in New Brunswick) has looked to other provinces, but also to the United States… In New Brunswick, ‘all chemicals (used in the fracking process) will have to be made public, period,’ according to government spokesperson Marc Belliveau. But the precise mix is commercial, proprietary information that the companies keep closely guarded. Belliveau says the companies will disclose the mix to the government, which will issue or refuse licenses based on that information, but that information won’t be made public."

"(ProPublica journalist Abrahm) Lustgarten said New Brunswick’s commitment to baseline water testing is a good idea. Water will be tested before fracking begins to provide a comparison, so that no one can claim chemicals found later occurred naturally. But he also issued a caution: in many states, the oil and gas regulators have little or no expertise in environmental issues or health. Residents who live near drilling sites often complain about symptoms such as headaches and respiratory ailments, but there is no tracking of those ailments to establish, or rule out, a link to the industry."

In late-November, CBC reported, "Canada’s environment minister (Peter Kent) says he has the power to stop hydro-fracking in New Brunswick (and by extension in Nova Scotia too, as well as in the rest of the country), but it’s unclear if he will intervene." More on that at

This weekend, the Council of Canadians is helping to bring two experts - Cornell University professor Anthony Ingraffea and Alberta anti-fracking activist Jessica Ernst - to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to speak on the issue of fracking. Both will be speaking in Halifax this evening and then again at a conference on Saturday in Truro. For more information, please go to

The Council of Canadians opposes fracking because of its high water use, its high carbon emissions, its impacts on human health, the disruption it causes to wildlife, and the danger it poses to groundwater and local drinking water. We are calling for a country-wide stop to fracking operations. We will also be launching a petition campaign shortly to put pressure on the federal government to step into a leadership role and ensure that our water sources, people’s health and the environment are protected from unnecessary and dangerous pollution.
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