NAL resumes operations

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012 06:00 am | Lea Smaldon

NAL Energy operations in Central Alberta are continuing as planned despite alleged threats against one of its wellsites in Mountain View County.

As well, a recently announced planned buyout of the company by Pengrowth Energy Corp. may change future capital plans for 2012, says a company spokesperson.

RCMP confirmed the energy company did evacuate an Eagle Valley wellsite March 15 after someone allegedly threatened that day to blow it up and shoot at the crew working there over concerns about water contamination from fracking.

A company spokesperson wouldn’t comment on the evacuation. Clayton Paradis, NAL director of investor relations, did confirm though that work at the site didn’t permanently cease.

“We did continue operations,” said Paradis.

A Mountain View County woman has been charged with two counts of uttering threats in relation to the incident.

Workers confirmed the well at 13-30-33-04-W5 in the Eagle Valley area of Mountain View County, had been undergoing servicing at the time.

Asked if anything has changed because of the alleged threat over fracking, Paradis said, “Today, no. Will it change in the future? Potentially.”

He confirmed the heightened awareness of fracking issues “is something that is being discussed internally.”

And he added that change is already underfoot with the ERCB formulating rules to require public disclosure of frac fluids.

NAL is primarily engaged in the exploration for, and the development and production of natural gas, natural gas liquids and crude oil in Western Canada. Its core assets are located in southeastern Saskatchewan, Central Alberta and northeastern British Columbia.

NAL and Pengrowth Energy Corp. announced jointly last Friday that they have entered into an agreement that will see Pengrowth buy out NAL by May 31, pending shareholder approval.

Pengrowth plans to spend about $85 million in the Olds area this year targeting two gas plays, according to its 2012 capital plan.

NAL’s 2012 capital program includes drilling 124 gross wells, several of them in the Cardium formation which underlies Westward Ho and Garrington.

“Those plans may be all for naught now, that’s a question for them (Pengrowth),” said Paradis when asked whether NAL’s capital plan will continue.

The deal, said Paradis, came together quickly.

“Measured in weeks rather than months,” he said.


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