On June 9, 2014, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources published in the Gazette officielle du Québec a draft Minister’s Order setting out the conditions on which exploration work for petroleum and natural gas may be performed on Québec public land on the Anticosti Island. This Minister’s Order may be made at the expiration of an exceptionally short delay of 20 days following the publication of its draft, considering the urgency to commence work as soon as the 2014 summer season.

Only stratigraphic survey may be carried out on the Anticosti Island. A licensee will be required to deliver to the Minister, for approval, at least 15 days prior to commencing the work, a detailed program of the work planned, a mitigation plan, an emergency measure plan and a plan to protect forests against fire, as well as a timetable for the road traffic caused. The licensee will be required to demonstrate that the work takes into account the regional and local geology.

Moreover, a performance guarantee corresponding to 10% of the estimated cost of the work planned must be delivered to the Minister prior to commencement of the work. The work will also need to be carried out so as to optimize the quality and safety of the design, construction, cementing and integrity control of the work and the sealing of the survey.

Finally, the draft Minister’s Order establishes set-back requirements for surveys performed near the high-water mark, the Transanticostienne road, immovables and airports.

Any interested person may submit comments to the Minister within the 20-day period mentioned above.

The publication of this draft Minister’s Order is another significant step that consolidates the Québec government’s commitment to the development of Québec’s oil and gas potential responsibly.