Lone Pine Resources files NAFTA challenge against Quebec
Company says province expropriated prospective oil and natural gas lands
The battle over oil and gas exploration in Quebec has evolved into an international trade dispute.
Lone Pine Resources Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Forest Oil Corp. that is incorporated in Delaware, is stepping up its fight against what it calls the “expropriation” of roughly 33,400 net acres of prospective land in the St. Lawrence Valley.
Lone Pine confirmed in a news release today that it has filed a Notice of Intent to submit a claim of arbitration under the North American Free Trade Agreement after the Quebec government suspended exploration activities, and revoked previously issued mining rights, to study the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing.
“Lone Pine has played an important role in exploration with a view to eventual development of Quebec’s significant shale gas resources, having invested millions of dollars and considerable time and resources in Quebec since 2006,” the company said in a statement distributed by Marketwire.
The new Parti Quebecois government, led by Pauline Marois, shut the door on natural gas in the province barely 24 hours after taking office.
Operators have fled as a result, most recently Talisman Energy Inc., which suspended exploration in the province this fall after booking an after-tax impairment charge of $82 million in the third quarter.
Early estimates say the province’s Utica shale contains anywhere from 9 to 41 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.