Good news….At last !

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Finally some good news The Quebec Government has made several announcements over the past few weeks that affect hydrocarbon development in the province. I was at the National Assembly for the recent budget, on June 4th, and it’s clear the government is supporting resource development including oil and gas. We especially welcome the end of oil and gas separation. Quebec went through a surreal period where shale oil was in vogue with environmental leaders but natural gas produced from shale was vilified. Of course in nature, oil and gas are created together in the same natural thermal process. The new government has thankfully reunified oil and gas. This is an excellent and logic position. The Government has also extended the suspension of hydraulic fracturing until the end of public consultations. The Quebec Oil and Gas Association had already announced a voluntary suspension of activities for the same period. Work obligations and a rental fee increase were also suspended for the same duration. We welcomed the respect to investors shown by the new Government in Quebec. A schedule has been announced for new hydrocarbon legislation to be introduced in the fall session of 2015. Quebec needs an updated hydrocarbon law and regulations. We have said it is a prerequisite for social license for many years now. Finally, we see things going in the right direction. The Government also announced a greatly expanded strategic environmental  study. The study performed over the last three years was restricted to natural gas and the St. Lawrence Valley. The new studies will cover oil and the rest of Quebec. We are pleased that the Government recognized that exploration is necessary study as well. There will be no moratorium during the period of the new environmental studies. In the recent budget, drilling tax credits were reduced by 20% which was not good news. However, it was part of general reduction of tax credits for all industries and did not target the hydrocarbon industry more than the rest. Specific to oil and gas, the budget announced further funds for investment, showing a long term commitment to our industry. Best of all, the Premier has said that revenue sharing with local communities is something he is in favor of. This was in my view the biggest block to social acceptability in our initial efforts in 2010. Local benefits is the key to success of our project and we whole-heartedly support revenue sharing. Premier Couillard says Quebec is open for business again. It looks like it  just might be.