FREDERICTON (CNB) – The following statement was issued today by Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup:

I wish to inform the public that a complaint has been filed by the Department of Natural Resources with the RCMP alleging Windsor Energy Inc. of Calgary, Alta., violated the Oil and Natural Gas Act by directing a contracted company to conduct geophysical exploration within the boundaries of the Town of Sussex.

An investigation by the department concluded that on Monday, Oct. 17, geophysical testing involving the use of truck-mounted vibration equipment was conducted along a highway inside the town's boundaries.

Under regulation 86-191 of the Oil and Natural Gas Act, a municipality's written permission is required before geophysical activity can be conducted inside the boundaries of an incorporated municipality.

The department has turned over the results of its investigation, and all other pertinent information, to the RCMP.

As this matter is now before the RCMP for investigation, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on this specific case.

I do wish to acknowledge a written apology that I received from Khalid Amin, president and chief executive officer of Windsor Energy. Mr. Amin said he has also apologized to the mayor, councillors and people of Sussex.

Finally, New Brunswickers can be assured that all companies exploring for or developing oil and natural gas reserves in our province are expected to observe our laws and that we will ensure these laws are upheld.

The rules we have in place and those now being developed to strengthen our regulatory framework are intended to protect our people and our environment, and must be respected.