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Shale gas exploratory company SWN Resources closes Moncton office

A rig drills for natural gas at a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) site  Washington Township, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013.
A rig drills for natural gas at a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) site Washington Township, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. Ty Wright/Bloomberg/Getty Images

A company that was at the forefront of natural gas exploration in New Brunswick, and the promise of an economic boom for the province, has closed up shop.

SWN Resources shuttered its Moncton office Wednesday, citing uncertainty over the timetable for the development of natural gases in New Brunswick.

READ MORE: Review outlines steps for N.B. government to roll back fracking moratorium

Movers were seen at the Moncton office, along with employees from Southwest Energy, packing up and trucking away things from the office.

SWN has been at the forefront of exploration of shale gas deposits in the province, making it a focus of the anti-shale gas movement.

Its equipment was vandalized and protesters constantly berated contractors exploring remote areas of the province.

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Studies of the potential economic impact of shale gas exploration suggest the industry may be worth $2.2 billion, not to mention the jobs it might create.

READ MORE: ‘It’s a start.’ Premier announces 39 new jobs for struggling Sussex

The New Brunswick government imposed a moratorium on fracking and formed a commission to look at what conditions would be necessary to lift the ban.

SWN will now oversee the New Brunswick operations from Houston, Texas. They say they’re offering assistance to employees impacted by the change.

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