Methane dispute reignites in B.C.

By Wendy Stueck — Globe and Mail

— A group of protesters, including members of the Tahltan and Iskut Indian bands, blocked a road in northwestern British Columbia yesterday, preventing Royal Dutch Shell PLC crews from heading into a contested region to do road repair work and reigniting a debate over coal bed methane exploration in the area.

Shell is reviewing its options, spokesman Larry Lalonde said yesterday, adding that it’s too early to say if the company will seek an injunction to gain access to its exploration projects.

“We have to look at everything that’s there – one of those options could include seeking an injunction, but we haven’t made that decision yet,” Mr. Lalonde said.

Shell has licenses to drill up to 14 wells in the region. The company voluntarily curtailed exploration work in 2005 and 2006 following similar protests.