(Quebec) Without changing his speech, Philippe Couillard has obtained a truce with the boss Petrolia that came out “reassured” his meeting on hydrocarbon exploration on Anticosti Island.
After two public appearances to demand a meeting President Alexandre Gagnon held talks Wednesday with the prime minister about the projects his company, including its “crown jewel” on Anticosti.
“We had very frank and direct exchange said Mr. Gagnon to get out of the PMO. It was worth it. The Prime Minister confirmed that he would respect the agreements for the project. This is great news for us. ”
For the President of Petrolia, respect the agreements means going after the exploratory phase to confirm or invalidate the potential of gas in the basement and oil shale. To do this, the program provides for three wells will be drilled by hydraulic fracturing. An inappropriate method of the Prime Minister for an island in the St. Lawrence Gulf.
In order to drill fracturing, Petrolia has yet to obtain certificates of authorization from the Ministry of Environment. The applications were filed. An answer is expected in late April.
The negative comments of the Prime Minister on the project in recent months have said many such certificates represent a possible way out of the government in the case. Gagnon President even already feared that the award process was “flawed”. He did not rule out a lawsuit against Quebec.
“We will see with the issuance of certificates, he said Wednesday. We, we made the requests. We’ll see what happens. ”
The boss of Petrolia, on the other hand, was reassured about the government’s support for its other projects, including Bourque, in Gaspésie, for natural gas. But he assures that he was never to abandon Anticosti in favor of increased government support in other initiatives.
“The Prime Minister told us that each project was evaluated on merit,” said Gagnon.
And if it happens that the exploration is successful on the island, the Quebec government will have to change its laws and regulations to prevent the currently permitted operation, said Mr. Gagnon.
“Big doubts about the project’s economic structure”
Earlier in the afternoon, the Prime Minister Couillard gave a foretaste of the discussions he had with the people of Petrolia.
“I do not intend to change my message on the opportunity to hydraulic fracturing” on Anticosti, he stated in particular. He also raised “serious doubts about the project’s economic structure.”
The Bourque project in Murdochville it “appears to have a brighter character.” The Quebec government is partnering with Pétrolia and two other companies in exploration on Anticosti Island.
“I will reiterate our intention to respect the contract that was signed in compliance with the environmental laws of Quebec, said Mr. Couillard. And it’s legal commitment to which we must respond. […] The project involves obtaining from them a certificate of authorization from the Ministry of the Environment, and it is there that stop our obligations. ”