Natural Resources

Call issued for oil and gas exploration rights tenders (08/09/10)

NB 1303

Sept. 10, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - A call for tenders for the rights to explore, drill and recover oil and natural gas in various areas of the province has been issued by the Minerals and Petroleum Development Branch of the Department of Natural Resources.

As of today, tenders may be submitted for a licence to search for oil and natural gas on six parcels of provincially owned resource rights. Two parcels are located in the Campbellton-Dalhousie area, with one each in the Sussex, St. Stephen, Fredericton, and Minto/Chipman areas. The six parcels comprise just over 155,000 hectares, the largest total area posted in a call for tenders in New Brunswick since 1999.

"New Brunswick's mineral and petroleum resources continue to make a major contribution to our provincial economy, and this call for tenders will potentially lead to millions more dollars in the form of exploration expenditures, royalties and employment," said Donald Arseneault, minister of natural resources. "In 2007 the oil and gas industry invested about $38 million in exploring for oil and natural gas, and we foresee that amount growing with this call for tenders."

A licence to search will be granted to qualified bidders who tender the largest work expenditure commitment over the three-year term of the licence. Tenders received by the closing date of 2 p.m., Nov. 12, 2008, will be opened publicly at that time in the Minerals and Petroleum Development Branch office in Fredericton, disclosing the parcel requested, name of the bidder and the bid amount. For more information on the call for tenders process, view the Information to Tenderers package on the Minerals and Petroleum Development Branch website.

There are currently 39 agreements for oil and gas rights in the province, covering an area of about 330,000 hectares. There are 21 wells currently in production in the McCully natural gas field near Sussex.

08/09/10

MEDIA CONTACT: Sharon Jones, communications, Natural Resources, 506-453-2614.

08/09/10