10/23/2014 11:48 EDT | Updated 12/23/2014 05:59 EST

Gaz Métro strikes deal in Anticosti natural gas exploitation

Anticosti Hydrocarbons has signed a strategic arrangement with GazMétro to exploit natural gas on Quebec’s Anticosti Island.

Anticosti Island, located in the Gulf Of the St. Lawrence, has been identified as an area of interest in the move to exploit Canada’s natural gas and oil resources.

Oil exploitation companies believe there could be up to 30 billion barrels of shale oil around Anticosti Island.

However, critics believe the actual volume of recoverable oil locked underneath Anticosti has been greatly exaggerated.

Anticosti Hydrocarbons is a consortium between Ressources Quebec, Petrolia, Saint-Aubin E&P and Corridor Resources. These companies hold 38 permits for hydrocarbon exploration on Anticosti Island.

A news release put out by the companies outlines the details of the deal, which include Gaz Métro helping Anticosti Hydrocarbons to “identify economic, operational and technical solutions to transporting associated natural gas to consumer markets should any be produced in the event hydrocarbon resource production gets underway on Anticosti Island.”

In exchange for Gaz Métro’s expertise, Anticosti Hydrocarbons has promised Quebec’s natural gas utility a five-year exclusivity deal.

Former Premier Pauline Marois announced in early 2014 that the government would spend up to $115 million on joint ventures to determine whether there are natural resources in the Gulf Of the St. Lawrence, how much there are and what the monetary value of the exploited resources would be.