Southwestern Snaps Up 2.5MM Acres in New Brunswick

The Department of Natural Resources of the Province of New Brunswick, Canada has accepted Southwestern Energy's bids for exclusive licenses to search and conduct an exploration program covering over 1,018,000 hectares (2,519,000 acres) in the province in order to test new hydrocarbon basins. The company's winning bids require it to make investments of approximately US $47 million over the next three years. The three-year exploration program represents the company's first venture outside of the United States.

"While the Maritimes Basin has been recognized for years, we have identified a large area which we believe is prospective for oil and natural gas. There is a significant amount of data yet to be collected in order to confirm its economic merit, but if our testing yields positive results, we expect that our activity in the area could increase substantially over the next several years. This could be the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our company's history," stated Steve Mueller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Southwestern Energy.

"This tender call was the largest ever issued in New Brunswick by land mass and has generated the highest bid ever received for exploration rights in our province," said Natural Resources Minister Wally Stiles. "It is indicative of the strong level of interest in oil and natural gas exploration that we are currently experiencing in our province, and we are pleased to welcome Southwestern Energy to our province."