Quebec paves way for oil, gas exploration with new energy plan by Danielle Bochove and Robert Tuttle, Bloomberg News, Dec. 11, 2016, The Globe and Mail
Quebec’s legislature passed a bill that will pave the way for more oil and gas exploration, providing a boost to drillers such as Junex Inc. while drawing criticism from environmental, aboriginal and citizen groups.
Bill 106 passed Quebec’s National Assembly in a 62-38 vote early Saturday after an overnight debate ahead of the holiday break. The legislation is meant to implement Quebec’s clean energy plan but also contains provisions allowing for energy exploration, potentially including fracking.
“Quebec’s government just voted down an amendment to ban fracking in a triumph of science over ‘leave it in the ground’ lunacy,” Calgary-based Questerre Energy Corp. tweeted early Saturday morning.
Shares of companies that hold exploration rights, including Questerre and Junex, based in Quebec City, surged last week as passage of the legislation looked likely. Questerre holds about 1 million acres and has drilled test wells in the Utica shale formation along the St. Lawrence River, according to its website. Questerre’s shares rose the most in more than eight years on Thursday and inched up again on Friday. Junex’s stock increased 30 per cent, the most in almost two years.
Bill 106 creates a new agency to promote Quebec’s transition to cleaner energy yet also lays out a framework for oil and gas development in the Canadian province. Environmental, aboriginal and citizen groups argued that the bill’s mandate is contradictory, that debate was rushed and that it should have included a moratorium on fracking as well as greater protection for landowners.
While the National Energy Board doesn’t record Quebec as producing any marketable hydrocarbons of its own, the province holds enough gas to meet its own needs for about 100 years. Most is locked up in the Utica shale formation or in deposits beneath Anticosti Island, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
“This is obviously a way for the government to please the industry,” Patrick Bonin, a spokesman for Greenpeace Canada’s climate and energy campaign, said by phone. “There is no reason why this bill was passed under the false claim from the government that there is urgency.”
Fracking is safe and the industry position is that it should be monitored [but of course isn’t, anywhere around the world where frac’ing is taking place. To truly and appropriately monitor frac’ing would quickly prove how harmful it is] like any other technology to make sure that’s the case, so a moratorium is unnecessary, David Lefebvre, director general of the Quebec Oil & Gas Association, said by phone Saturday. “Wells are fracked every day, all around the world,” he said.
Bill 106 strips power from landowners who will be powerless to stop exploration by companies with drilling claims, [Welcome to “The Alberta Model!”] Carole Dupuis, a spokeswoman for Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures Quebec, said by phone from Quebec City. That, in turn, will hurt property values, especially if exploration leads to fracking.
“If there was not the fracking issue, the landowner issue would not be a problem. It’s an access issue,” she said. “What’s the value of your land if someone has been drilling one kilometre from you and you don’t know if your drinking water is safe?”
[Frac’d & Contaminated Drinking Water Like this NW of Calgary, Alberta?
Frac Reality Check:
One kilometer? Try 100 metres. To see what fracing has done to realestate for the ultra rich oil and gas workers in Alberta, check out the For Sale signs in the Lochend at Fracking Rocky View County by FrackingCanada. Frac’d properties have been for sale for years, with no takers.]
The citizens group she represents is also concerned that companies with deposits worth developing will be able to expropriate land from owners who are unwilling to sell.
Expropriation was possible before Bill 106 and a moratorium on fracking would have actually hurt landowners by giving environmentalists [Since when are farmers, business owners and municipalities environmentalists?] the power to decide what they could do with their property, said Michael Binnion, chief executive officer of Questerre Energy.
“In our entire time in Quebec we’ve never gone on anyone’s land that didn’t want us there,” [Because companies weren’t able to!] he said by phone from Calgary. “This act lets farmers who would like to partner with oil and gas companies have that chance.”
Bill 106 goes against aboriginal rights to self-determination and to establish the best use of their lands, Mi’gmaq Chief Darcy Gray said in an e-mail Saturday.
“The bill also opens up our lands to exploration that we feel could have long-lasting, detrimental and irreparable damage,” he wrote “especially with regards to hydraulic fracturing and or other types of well stimulation.”
“Why this would even be considered, or how it could be construed as a favourable initiative, is beyond me,” he said.
[“The Alberta Model” is only about stealing from people, landowners, homeowners, municipalities and communities and giving the stolen goods to multinationals, with government and regulator blessings]
The fact that the debate was rushed through the National Assembly has set the stage for stronger opposition from citizens, Greenpeace’s Bonin said.
“Having the Quebec government sign onto the Paris agreement, claiming they are leaders in climate change, but not wanting to have proper debate on fossil-fuel development in the province is a clear demonstration that it’s not a climate change leader,” he said.
The Quebec energy bill was approved just hours after Canada reached agreement on a national climate deal to establish a minimum carbon price, with Manitoba and Saskatchewan the lone hold-out provinces.
Environmentalists have criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for falling short on his green pledges by allowing continued energy sector development, most notably with his approval of Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain pipeline last month. Trudeau has said his government aims to balance economic growth with tougher environmental standards. [Emphasis added]
Questerre Energy shares soar after Quebec passes bill to open oil and gas reserves by Robert Tuttle and Danielle Bochove, Bloomberg News, December 10, 2016, Calgary Herald
Quebec passed hydrocarbon legislation that is likely to open up shale gas and oil reserves to energy companies operating in the province.
Bill 106, introduced in June, passed by a margin of 62 to 38. It creates a new agency to promote Quebec’s transition to cleaner energy but also includes the Petroleum Resources Act, which may clear the way for more exploration.
Shares of companies that hold exploration rights, including Calgary-based Questerre Energy Corp. and Junex Inc., based in Quebec City, surged in heavy trading last week as passage of the legislation looked likely. Questerre holds about 1 million acres and has drilled test wells in the Utica shale formation along the St. Lawrence River, according to its website.
Questerre’s shares rose the most in more than eight years on Thursday and inched up again on Friday.
Junex’s stock increased 30 percent, the most in almost two years. The company announced last month that its Galt No. 4 horizontal well has produced a total of 17,798 barrels of light, sweet crude oil in the province.
Bill 106 establishes a system for licensing and authorizing the exploration and production of oil and gas, which had been governed by the province’s Mining Act. It also creates an energy transition fund for the payment of petroleum royalties.
Passage of the bill was “a necessary and critical pre-condition” for oil and gas exploration in Quebec, Questerre Chief Executive Officer Michael Binnion said in an interview Thursday. [Did Questerre’s lawyers write the bill?]
While Canada’s National Energy Board doesn’t record Quebec as producing any marketable hydrocarbons of its own, the province holds enough gas alone to meet its own needs for about 100 years. Most is locked up in the Utica shale formation along the St. Lawrence River or in deposits beneath Anticosti Island, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. [Emphasis added]
–With assistance from Josh Wingrove, Sandrine Rastello and Rita Devlin Marier
[Refer also to:
2016 02 18: Alberta Model East: Quebec gov’t to vote in few weeks on deregulating, rights decimating Frac Bill 106; Citizen committees, politicians, Quebec’s powerful famers’ lobby – Union des producteurs agricoles, First Nations, Confédération des syndicats nationaux, Chambre des notaires, Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures Québec, environmental and community groups, 331 municipalities and even Quebec’s notaries ask gov’t to rework the bad bill
“I don’t see the day when these technologies can be used in a safe way,” said Natural Resources Minister, Martine Ouellet ]