Pétrolia Temporarily Abandons Oil Exploration in Gaspé

An oil firm has decided to temporarily abandon its exploration project following an unresolved dispute with the town of Gaspé about the program’s possible risks to the latter’s water supply.

Last December, council members of the town approved a by-law that forbids Pétrolia to conduct oil exploration near the city limits.

According to the regulation, firms cannot perform oil drilling within 10 kilometers of Gaspé’s water supply and not less than two kilometers from any well within the town.

The regulations of the Quebec government are not firm enough for the region’s water and land resources to be protected, said Mayor François Roussy.

Several mayors from nearby regions have expressed their support for Gaspé, the town that is located on Saint-Lawrence River’s shore on the peninsula of the same name.

Recently, Isabelle Proulx, the vice president of Pétrolla, said that the company made a decision to drop the Haldiman-4 program temporarily until the company and the town reach an agreement.

The VP said that the firm will take time to provide an explanation of its oil drilling methods.

Moreover, Proulx said that the company is compliant with environmental laws and protecting the region it intends to explore.

Further, the reason they are keeping their rig in the area is that they intend to eventually resume the project. She said that the company may find a way to produce in the town, and they do not want to leave their planned project.

According to, André Proulx, the president of Pétrolla, the company has been losing a daily amount of $50,000 from the project’s delay over the past week.

Martine Ouellet, the town’s minister of natural resources, knows the benefits of oil drilling to the economy of both the province and the region. However, she also considers it important to protect the water.

A couple of weeks ago, Quellet said that she wants to work on a solution with Pétrolla, the town and three government ministers responsible for Gaspé. Pétrolla estimates the project to generate $1 million per month for the region.