Review Panel reschedules public hearing for proposed EnCana Shallow Gas Infill Development project

    OTTAWA and CALGARY, March 3 /CNW Telbec/ - The Joint Panel reviewing the
proposed EnCana Shallow Gas Infill Development project and EUB Application
No. 1435831 for three well licenses in the Suffield National Wildlife Area in
Alberta, today announces that it has decided that the hearing originally
scheduled for March 2008, will now take place in October 2008.
    A request to delay the hearing was submitted by the proponent, EnCana
Corporation, on February 21, 2008, in order to prepare and submit information
requests (IRs) specifically on the intervener submissions filed in February
    Taking into account the significant size of the submissions received by
the Panel as well as the issues and concerns raised by the interveners, the
Panel believes that allowing additional time for all parties to better prepare
for the hearing is necessary. The proposed IR process would allow interveners
to clarify their submissions and allow the proponent to provide a response.
Despite the necessary delay, the Panel considers that the IR process will
enhance the efficiency of the public hearing and ensure that the Panel has the
best available information to consider when making its recommendations and
    Following a brief consultation with the interested parties on
February 25, the Panel has decided to reschedule the hearing to begin in
Calgary on October 6, 2008. The Panel will also implement the IR process
according to the following schedule:

    - March 26:     EnCana and Interveners file Information Requests (IRs)
                    on the February 2008 submissions

    - May 23:       Interveners file Responses to IRs

    - June 27:      Supplemental Submissions are filed by Interveners
                    (if any)

    - August 15:    Experts hired by the Panel submit their
                    Report #2, based on submissions received,
                    responses to IRs and any supplemental submissions

    - August 15:    EnCana responds to Intervener submissions and to IR

    - October 6:    Hearing starts

    Supplemental submissions will provide an opportunity for interveners to
offer comments on submissions provided to the Panel in February 2008 and on
responses to IRs to be submitted by May 23. Interveners should file their
supplemental submissions by June 27, 2008.
    Details on hearing logistics as well as a supplement to the hearing
procedures will be available closer to the hearing date.
    The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), EUB Application No. 1435831,
the procedures for the conduct of the hearing, along with more information on
this project are available on the Panel's web site at or
on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry at,
under registry # 05-05-15620.
    EnCana Corporation proposes to drill, over a three-year period, up to
1275 new shallow gas wells within the boundary of the Canadian Forces Base
Suffield National Wildlife Area (NWA), located in Southeastern Alberta,
approximately 50 km Northwest of Medicine Hat and 250 km Southeast of Calgary.
The project is in addition to the existing natural gas development activities
within the NWA and includes the physical works and the activities associated
with the construction, operation, decommissioning, abandonment and reclamation
of the shallow gas wells, pipelines, and supporting infrastructure.
    EnCana Corporation has also applied pursuant to section 2.020 of the Oil
and Gas Conservation Regulations for licenses to drill three wells at surface
locations in Legal Subdivision (LSD) 11, Section 28, Township 15, Range 6,
West of the 4th Meridian, LSD 13-28-15-6W4M, and LSD 15-28-15-6W4M in the NWA.
The purpose of the proposed wells would be to obtain gas production from the
Milk River formation, Medicine Hat sands, and Second White Speckled shale. The
proposed wells would not contain hydrogen sulphide.

    The Joint Review Panel for the EnCana Shallow Gas Infill Development
Project is an independent body, mandated by the federal Minister of the
Environment and the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board to assess the
environmental effects of the proposed project.

For further information:

For further information: Lucille Jamault, Senior Communications Advisor,
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, (613) 957-0434

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