Natural Resources

Minister to promote New Brunswick oil and gas exploration (09/02/04)

NB 105

Feb 4, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Wally Stiles, minister of natural resources, will promote the province's oil and gas potential when he travels to Texas to attend North America's largest oil and gas promotional event. Stiles will be attending the 2009 NAPE Expo, Feb. 5-6, in Houston, Texas.

"The oil and natural gas industry continues to experience significant growth, not only on a national or international level, but here in New Brunswick," Stiles said. "The message I intend to bring to those in attendance in Houston is that there is a great deal of potential for the exploration and development of oil, natural gas, shale gas and other natural resources in our province."

Ten petroleum companies are actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the province, based on 42 Crown agreements.

This exploration was stimulated by the construction of the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline in 1999 to transport natural gas from Sable Island to the northeastern United States. It also developed following the discovery of the McCully natural gas field in Penobsquis in 2000 by Corridor Resources Inc.

The McCully field, which began production in 2003, is producing 870,000 cubic metres (29 million cubic feet) of natural gas per day, with production rates anticipated to increase as planned development proceeds.

Another potentially significant oil discovery was made by Corridor Resources in November 2008 just southeast of the McCully field. The G-36 well initially tested at a rate of 59 barrels of oil per day, and the company is preparing to evaluate the well's economic potential.

Contact Exploration Inc.'s oil production from the historic Stoney Creek field is expected to increase in 2009. Initial production test results from the Stoney Creek N-78 well, which was drilled and completed in late 2008, tested at a rate of 200 barrels of oil per day. Contact Exploration anticipates that a production rate of about 50 barrels of oil per day may be achieved.

"The petroleum sector is an exciting area to watch now and in the near future, and it has the potential to bring significant benefits to New Brunswick's economy," Stiles said. "Our government will continue to support companies conducting oil and gas exploration in the province, and we look forward to their continued, meaningful contributions to New Brunswick's communities."

In 2008, the petroleum exploration industry invested $53 million in New Brunswick. Royalty payments for oil and natural gas production and rental payments on Crown agreements totalled about $7 million during the same period.

Despite current economic conditions, the 2009 NAPE Expo is expected to be the largest to date, with more than 16,000 participants. The exposition attracts people, prospects, properties, technology, expertise and capital from North America and around the world. The event was formerly known as the North American Prospect Expo.

09/02/04

MEDIA CONTACT: Chrystiane Mallaley, communications, Department of Natural Resources, 506-453-2614, e-mail: chrystiane.mallaley@gnb.ca.

09/02/04