Tuesday, 17 April 2012

DNR statement to media in full on granting Windsor Energy lease




Today Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup announced the government's decision on whether to grant Calgary-based oil and gas company, Windsor Energy, a lease to continue further exploration in the province. The company's three-year license it signed with the previous Graham government expired in November 2011. However, as of today, Windsor Energy holds a five-year lease granted by the Alward government to do further exploration for oil and gas in the province, with drilling a possibility if discovery of the resources are made. Northrup said the Alward administration was legally bound to grant the lease since the contract was already signed with Liberals before the Conservatives took office.

There was some doubt the lease would be granted after Windsor Energy was found to have violated Sussex municipal boundaries while seismic testing in the area late last summer. Subsequent rude comments by the company's CEO, Khalid Amin, in reaction to pubic upset at the violation, didn't endear Windsor Energy to the government or people of the province. Northrup, hot under the collar over the company's actions in his own riding, called in the RCMP to investigate and threatened to revoke the license. Both came to naught and Northrup announced today the company was getting the new five-year lease.

Northrup called it a learning experience, and the government has taken actions under its regulations to avoid such missteps in the future. Those regulations are expected to be tabled in Legislation in the fall.