SAINT JOHN, N.B. – A former premier of New Brunswick is hoping the province will realize the great potential shale gas exploration can bring.

Frank McKenna spoke at a Saint John Board of Trade luncheon today after hearing of the dire economic state New Brunswick is in.

He says New Brunswick has a number of opportunity ropes to grab. “To start with I believe the west-east pipeline is one of those ropes. Then on the natural gas side I believe the reversal of the Repsol facility would create huge economic activity. Then if we could start exploiting our shale resources that could create extraordinary economic activity.”

McKenna adds if New Brunswick takes advantage of its’ estimated 82 trillion cubic feet of shale gas deposits, it could see $7-billion in revenue, which could wipe out the majority of the province’s debt.

The province government is expected to release an oil and gas blueprint this spring.