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Resource firm planning new N.B. wells if Tories lift fracking moratorium

A natural gas well pad is seen in the rural community of Penobsquis, N.B. on Thursday, August 21, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

FREDERICTON — A major player in natural gas development in New Brunswick is making plans for new wells if the province’s new Tory government follows through on a pledge to lift a moratorium on fracking.

Corridor Resources currently has 32 producing wells in the Sussex area and operates a 50 kilometre pipeline, a gathering system comprising 15 kilometres of pipe, and a natural gas processing facility.

The company wants to expand but the previous Liberal government imposed a moratorium in 2014 that prohibits hydraulic fracturing — a process that involves pumping water and chemicals at high pressure to fracture shale rock and release gas.

The new Tory government has proposed lifting the moratorium in specific areas, like the Sussex region, if there is public support.

In a corporate presentation the company says, if the moratorium is lifted, they would drill five vertical evaluation wells, complete three existing wells, identify “sweet spots,” and drill a second round of up to five horizontal wells.

The company says with the impending end of Nova Scotia’s offshore production, natural gas will have to come from outside the Maritimes if the New Brunswick deposit is not further developed.

The Canadian Press