Canada's Quebec to impose moratorium on shale gas - minister

21 September 2012 02:38  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--The new government of Canada’s Quebec province plans to impose a complete moratorium on shale gas, a minister said on Thursday.

“Our position on shale gas is very clear: a complete moratorium on shale gas exploration and production,” natural resources minister Martine Ouellet said in a televised interview.

When asked how long the moratorium would last, Ouellet said: ”I don’t see the day when we will have the technology to permit safe [shale gas] operations.”

Ouellet is minister in the government of Premier Pauline Marois, whose Parti Quebecois (PQ) came to power earlier this month. The PQ is committed to breaking Canada up, with Quebec seceding as an independent nation.

The Quebec oil and gas association (QOGA) has urged Quebec to develop its shale gas reserves to cut the province's dependence on gas from western Canada.

Quebec's gas is in the Utica Shale, which extends the length of the St Lawrence River Valley between Montreal and Quebec City, in a region called the St Lawrence Lowlands.

Earlier this year, the governor of the US state of Vermont, which borders Quebec to the south, signed a bill banning hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the technology used in shale gas exploration and production.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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