The Canadian province of British Columbia and the Blueberry River First Nations have reached a land, water and resource management agreement that will resume oil and gas development in the Montney Shale in northeastern BC

The agreement ensures that Blueberry River members can meaningfully exercise their Treaty 8 rights and provide stability and predictability to the industry in the region, the British Columbia government said in a statement Wednesday.

The settlement is a response to a June 2021 BC Supreme Court ruling, which found that the province had infringed Blueberry River’s Treaty 8 rights due to the cumulative impacts of decades of industrial development. The court barred the provincial government from authorizing further activities and ordered the parties to negotiate a collaborative approach to land management and natural resource development that protects the treaty rights of nations.

Through the agreement, BC and Blueberry River will bring a more collaborative approach to oil and natural gas development planning and projects. They have agreed to concentrate disruption to oil and gas activities wherever possible in already developed areas.

Oil industry executives with operations and interests in the Montney shale field welcomed the deal, saying it finally provides clarity on oil and gas development in northeastern British Columbia.

“As a world leader in energy, we view BC’s world-class North Montney Basin and LNG Canada as cornerstones of both our global portfolio and BC’s significant economic and environmental opportunity to deliver the world’s lowest-emissions LNG.” said Izwan Ismail, president and CEO of Petronas Energy Canada Ltd.

“The agreement between the government of British Columbia and the indigenous communities of Northeast British Columbia provides much-needed clarity to move forward with natural gas development,” said Tristan Goodman, president and CEO of the Association of Explorators and Producers. from Canada.

“British Columbia’s clean and responsibly produced natural gas can support Canada’s climate goals and supply the world with lower carbon, reliable and affordable energy.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for

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