Letters to the Editor

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Interesting Twitter posts by CBC's Robert Jones on figures for NB shale gas royalties

"Vol. of nat gas in believed to be underground in NB: 78.2 trillion cubic ft. Value at current prices: $260 billion. At 2008 prices $1 trillion."

"Last year Alberta go about 53 cents per 1,000 cubic ft. Here that's $41 b. in the ground. 20% recovery = 8 billion."

We asked Natural Gas Group spokesman Marc Belliveau for a response as to whether the numbers have any merit and, if so, what consequences that would have for NB shale gas royalties. We received the following reply:

"I think you mis-typed something in your e-mail. If there's $1 trillion worth of revenue we'd be lending money to the U.S. Bob has interesting stories but cannot comment on them in this context...the most common numbers that I have seen - if the industry takes off - is $200 million or more in royalties to the province and literally thousands of jobs. But it's still an unknown as they are still exploring to determine if it can happen. A trillion is one thousand billions. Our net debt is 10 billion. So I would be amazed if Bob used those numbers. He may have said trillion in cubic metres of gas or something, but I didn't see the report."

We have sent out a Tweet asking Jones where the numbers were obtained. It will be posted when available.

UPDATE: Jones's response - "National Energy Board & NB Department of Natural Resources."