Government introduced amendments to the Petroleum Resources Act today, Sept. 30, which will place a moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing for onshore oil and gas shale development.
“We’ve heard from many Nova Scotians that we are not yet ready for high-volume hydraulic fracturing to be a part of developing our onshore oil and gas resources in shale,” said Energy Minister Andrew Younger.
“This legislation provides assurance to Nova Scotians that this technique will not be permitted without a public, open and transparent debate in the legislature.”
The amendments include:
— prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing to develop shale formations
— authority to make regulations to define the technique, and to allow testing or research
— defining the process government will follow before reconsidering the moratorium
“We recognize that to better understand high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Nova Scotia context, we need more research and a better understanding of our resource potential — government is providing for this,” said Mr. Younger. “Before permitting this technique, government will need to be confident that it can be done safely and ensure there are stringent rules and regulations in place.”
To reconsider the moratorium and determine if there is a net benefit to Nova Scotians, the Energy Minister must consider social, economic, health, environmental, regulatory effectiveness and scientific and technical considerations.
“The government of Nova Scotia remains committed to the responsible development of our energy resources like oil and gas, wind and tidal,” said Mr. Younger.