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UPDATE: Company buys 23,000 acres of land in Ontario for fracking operations

In March 2010, the Toronto Star reported that Calgary-based Mooncor Oil & Gas Corp. has been buying land rights in southwestern Ontario for fracking operations. The newspaper article noted that Mooncor intends to drill for shale gas in the Kettle Point Formation known as Antrim Shale in Lambton and Kent counties, and the Collingwood/Blue Mountain formations known as Utica Shale. “It has already locked up nearly 23,000 acres (9.30776 hectares) of land in Lambton and Kent counties…”

This April, the London Free Press reported, “Alberta-based Mooncor Oil and Gas has big plans for the more than 20,000 acres of leases it holds in Lambton County and Chatham-Kent.” Mooncor stated it would arrange a spinoff company – DRGN Resources – that could be a consolidation of up to 21 companies. “Vice-president Richard Cohen said the company has brought on a geologist who is putting together a drilling program for its Southwestern Ontario sites. ‘If there is a shale gas play there, it’s going to be a real bonus,’ he said. ‘But, it’s couple of years down the road.'”

And in June, a media release announcing this new company, they noted, “Ontario is an attractive exploration environment. The primary conventional plays on the lands held are the Ordovician, Silurian – Salina and Devonian. The unconventional play types are the Kettle Point Formation (Antrim equivalent) shale and the Collingwood (Utica equivalent) shale. Recent announcements from industry on the success of Collingwood shale drilling results in Michigan have demonstrated the opportunity for this promising new shale play. Technical review of the Ontario land base has identified up to 22 oil drilling locations (firm and contingent) adjacent to two producing oil pools. In addition, Mooncor has identified 6 Silurian Pinnacle prospects.”

Both the provincial and federal government appear to be encouraging fracking in Ontario. The Toronto Star has reported, “To assist exploration companies, the province recently released an aerial survey of southwestern Ontario that maps out magnetic variations in the upper crust. These variations flag certain geological zones that lend themselves to oil and gas formation. ‘We’re just pointing out (to industry) that this is something you may have missed,’ (Terry) Carter (a petroleum resources geologist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources) said. And why is Ontario being missed? ‘People go to where they know there’s been success first. And there’s been huge success in the United States, so that attracts more exploration,’ he said. ‘That’s what’s missing in Ontario. We have to prove it’s productive.’ …(And) Tony Hamblin, a petroleum geologist with Natural Resources Canada, said Ontario represents a ripe opportunity that has been largely overlooked.”

In March 2010, the Chatham Daily News reported, “Mark Calzavara, a regional organizer for the Council of Canadians, said… ‘Fracking is very scary. It’s created a gold rush mentality amongst a lot of oil companies and it has a lot of deleterious effects on groundwater.’ Calzavara said landowners who have signed agreements with the company should measure and test their well water before and during the work. ‘Locally, you have to look at protecting your ground water because no one else will,’ he said.”

The Council of Canadians opposes fracking because of its high water use, its high carbon emissions, its impacts on human health, the disruption it causes to wildlife, and the danger it poses to groundwater and local drinking water. We are calling for a country-wide stop to fracking operations.