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N.B. grants SWN one-year extension on company’s 32 licences

Protesters cheer after trucks owned by SWN Resources leave the scene of shale gas protests near Laketon, N.B. on Nov. 14, 2013. Brion Robinson/Global News

FREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s Department of Energy and Mines has extended SWN Resources’ 32 licences to search for one-year.

The extension went into effect Monday.

READ THE LETTER: SWN suspends drilling program in N.B., applies for long-term licence

“While a licence to search gives the holder rights to the area in question, it is subject to government’s proposed moratorium on hydraulic fracturing,” said New Brunswick’s Energy Minister, Donald Arseneault.

SWN Resources applied for a six year extension on their exploration licences. But because SWN has a licence and not a lease, it is only eligible for extensions of one year at a time.

READ MORE: N.B. government considering SWN application for 6-year licence renewal

“We have continuously said we will take a safe and sustainable approach to energy and natural resource opportunities while diversifying New Brunswick’s economy,” said Arseneault.

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Andy Lodge, chair of the Saint John Regional Chamber of Commerce, says he sees the extension as an “encouraging sign.”

“It shows that the government is willing to work with this company,” he said. “From our point of view in the business community, we don’t want to see flat out no’s, we’d like to see efforts towards cooperation.”

Lodge says the business community wants to continue the discussion around natural gas.

“We would like to see government work with these companies, try to develop solutions whereby any kind of responsible energy investment can continue,” Lodge said.

The Chamber has an energy summit organized in June, where they’re aiming to educate the public on potential energy projects.

 

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