Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Letter to the Editor

There is a possible interesting wrinkle to the Aug. 18, 2011 confrontation between Geokinetics and  anti-shale gas protesters on the English Settlement Road near Taymouth. Geokinetics and SWN decided to cancel their planned geophysical work upon encountering the local protesters. The road was conveniently "under construction" on that day, or so the D.O.T. road signs said. Section 28 of regulation 86-191 of the Oil and Gast Act O-2.1 states:

28. Where a highway or road is under construction, no
permittee shall conduct geophysical exploration on that
portion of the highway or road under construction until
permission to do so is obtained from the person actually
in charge of the construction and, in the case of a highway,
from the District Transportation Engineer.

As the right-of-way in question is a "road" and not a highway, I would guess that Geokinetics and SWN did not have the permission from the local supervisor in charge of the construction when they decided to fold their tent and hightail it to the safety of the Route 8 By-Pass. Presumably they did have the permission of the District Transportation Engineer to be on the right-of-way, but the "road" presented another level of required permissions.

Was there more to Geokinetics backtracking on that day than met the eye? Who arranged to have overlapping road construction and geophysical testing? The plot thickens.

Lawrence Wuest
Stanley, NB