News Release 2011-11-16


News Release 2011-11-16

News Release 2011-11-16 (NR2011-24)

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ERCB denies Bernum horizontal well application

For immediate release

Calgary, Alberta (Nov 16, 2011)… The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) has issued , which denies an application by Bernum Petroleum Ltd. to drill a horizontal oil well approximately 4.5 kilometres east of Cochrane, Alberta. The denial is without prejudice to any future application that Bernum may submit.

The surface location of the proposed well was the primary issue considered by the ERCB during the course of the hearing. Bernum applied to drill the well from a surface location north of Highway 1A because the terms of the freehold petroleum and natural gas lease specified that it could not be drilled at any location south of Highway 1A.

The ERCB denied the application because Bernum failed to provide sufficient evidence in support of its assertion that there was no viable alternative surface location south of Highway 1A. The evidence submitted by the family on whose land the well would have been drilled persuaded the ERCB that there may be viable sites south of Highway 1A.

Bernum also failed to demonstrate that it had fully considered any other alternatives to its preferred surface location for the proposed well. The ERCB believes that it is very important for applicants to assess alternative locations and to present evidence of analysis of the social, economic, and environmental factors which determine which option is preferred; especially where there are objections to a proposed location. The ERCB is not satisfied with the level of analysis presented by the applicant in this case.

The decision follows a public hearing in Calgary, Alberta, on August 30 and 31, 2011.

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For more information, please contact:

Bob Curran, ERCB Communications
Phone: 403-297-3392
Media line: 1-855-474-6356