MCLELLANS BROOK – Seeing the site for test drilling in McLellans Brook is the realization of a vision Julie Cohen and Arden Thompson have had in their minds for a very long time.
East Coast Energy President Julie Cohen and VP Arden Thompson are happy to see test drilling start in McLellans Brook. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS
East Coast Energy Inc. acquired this project in 2009. In 2011 the company drilled a successful small-diameter test hole, and core samples verified the presence of coal-bed methane. Last year, the company received industrial approval from the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and all regulatory requirements have been met so the province has authorized the company to drill two test wells into the Foord coal seam at a depth of about 540 metres. The permits do not allow hydraulic fracturing or fracking as it is more commonly known.
The drilling at the two sites is going to be a 30- to 40-day process, said Thompson, VP of East Coast Energy and chief geologist. Four to six months after that they hope to have the answers they’re looking for.
“That four- to six-month window is what it’ll take to tell how successful this well is,” Thompson said. “The gas is here and the gas content has been well verified over the years. Now the question is can we make it flow at a volume that’s commercial.”
That’s their goal and the next one they hope to realize in this multi-year project.
Cohen, who is president and CEO of the company, said their focus is to extract the methane from the coal and from there they will consider contracting out the distribution of it.
“The beauty about the whole advancement of technology is the ability to compress and deliver. That’s another option that we have that we will be able to utilize and be able to compress and deliver to places where the pipeline may not be available.”
Right now there are about 20 workers involved on the project. They will soon be finished at the first site and move on to the second test site.