Resource partnership causes controversy

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B.C. Tap Water Alliance is speaking out against PetroChina’s bid to partner with Encana Corporation.

PetrocChina has presented a bid that could lead to the single largest gas deal by the company in North America.

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Encana and PetroChina recently announced the $5.4 billion bid which would see PetroChina receive a 50 per cent business stake in its Cutback Ridge development. The Alliance says that Encana did not mention the fact that the deal could also extend to Encana’s more northern operations, partnering with Apache Canada in the Horn River Basin.

Encana’s Cutbank Ridge assets cover a 257,000 hectare area, straddling both B.C. and Alta. The Alliance says the bid is controversial since residents in these areas have previously expressed concerns about Encana’s operations, making numerous environmental-based complaints to B.C. regulators, as well as the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission.

The Alliance’s Co-ordinator, Will Koop, says he is concerned shale gas development in Canada is proceeding far too quickly and that Canadians do not fully understand the cumulative environmental and social consequences of that development.

He also says he is concerned about Encana’s failure to release water and other resource use data to authorities on its Horn River project and its largest hydraulic fracturing operation.

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