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SWN Finishes Seismic Work in New Brunswick

A division of Southwestern Energy Co. (SWN) said it has completed seismic testing in New Brunswick, closing the latest chapter in the company’s troubled history in the province.

According to reports, SWN Resources Canada issued a statement Friday saying that the company had concluded its seismic work, but it gave no indication whether it would return to conduct further exploration efforts there.

"SWN Resources Canada is pleased to announce that we have completed our seismic acquisition program in New Brunswick," the company said. “We would like to thank all New Brunswickers for their continued support."

The reports said SWN’s contractors and employees started to wind down their operations on Friday.

Last week, a judge on the Court of Queen’s Bench in Fredericton, NB, granted an SWN request for a two-week extension to an injunction designed to keep anti-shale protesters away from the company’s seismic trucks so it could complete its work (see Shale Daily, Dec. 3). The injunction, originally ordered on Nov. 22, required the protesters to stay at least 250 meters (820 feet) away from SWN’s seismic trucks, and at least 20 meters (66 feet) away from the side of roads where SWN was working.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Constable Julie Rogers-Marsh told NGI’s Shale Daily that about 40 anti-shale protesters have been arrested since Nov. 25, some for violating the injunction.

Several weeks of protests have centered on a stretch of Highway 11 near Rexton, NB, where SWN has a facility and parks its seismic trucks and equipment.

Violence first erupted near Rexton on Oct. 17, after RCMP officers moved in to enforce the injunction and allow SWN access to its facility. At least 40 people were arrested and five police vehicles destroyed in the mayhem (see Shale Daily, Oct. 18).

SWN has licenses from the provincial government to perform seismic testing in New Brunswick, home to the prospective Frederick Brook Shale. The emerging play lies beneath the Hiram Brook tight gas sands in both the Sussex and Elgin sub-basins (see Shale Daily, Dec. 7, 2010).

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