Shale gas could mean $13M in development per well, study says
A new study on shale gas in New Brunswick shows the industry could generate $13 million in development opportunity per well.
Each well would also create about 21 full-time jobs, according to the report by Deloitte released in Fredericton on Monday.
"That's a significant amount of money and a significant amount of jobs," said Susan Holt, president of the New Brunswick Business Council, which commissioned the $90,000 report, along with Futures NB.
But there's work to do first, said Holt.
"Building relationships with developers and learning about that supply chain to understand how they contract, when they go out, who they look for in suppliers … that kind of work should be done now in order to be ready, should the industry go ahead to participate in that opportunity," she said.
Holt said 72 businesses took part in a survey for the study, which started four months ago.
More than 90 per cent said they were willing to participate in shale gas development in New Brunswick, while 55 per cent showed they have the capability, she said.
Some of the Industries with strong opportunities include: equipment rental, transportation, professional services, such as surveying and environmental approvals, as well as pipeline installation, the study found.
Still, there are critics, such as Jim Emberger, of the Opposition to Shale Gas Coalition.
"These economic studies show that localities that have shale gas development do worse economically than their sister counties who are right next door to them who don't have shale gas. Because it's a classic boom-bust economic model," he said.
The study comes after a week of anti-shale gas protests and several arrests in Kent County, where SNW Resources Canada is conducting seismic testing.
The company is trying to determine if it is economically feasible to set up a shale gas industry in the region.
Premier David Alward has said New Brunswickers have a choice between economic development and a moratorium on shale gas development.
But many people are concerned about the hydraulic-fracturing process, known as fracking.
Fracking involves injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the ground, creating cracks in shale rock formations, enabling them to extract natural gas from areas that would otherwise go untapped.
Opponents of the process say it could have a negative effect on local water supplies and many of them have held protests across the province.
Energy Minister Craig Leonard has said the new rules governing the oil and gas industry in New Brunswick will be among the strictest in North America.