27 January 2008

Province invests in natural gas...quietly

Over the past two years, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has quietly invested in two local companies involved in the natural gas industry, according to information in the Public Accounts, Volume II.

In 2005, the province offered Trans Ocean Gas Inc $100,000 as an interest free repayable contribution to the company's research and development activities. Up to the end of March 2007, the province had contributed $90,000 and received 18,000 Class 'B' non-voting, non-interest bearing common shares. The shares must be redeemed no later than march 22, 2015.

No news release was issued by the provincial government or Trans Ocean Gas on the deal, but there is reference to the provincial government as an investor in a news story in The Independent. The company website does list the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development as having a "strategic relationship" with Trans Ocean.

In 2006, the provincial government acquired 500 Class 'B' common shares in SAC Mfg Inc at a price of $500,000. The shares are conditionally redeemable based on after tax earnings and must be redeemed no later than December 19, 2016. According to the companies registry , SAC is based in paradise, Newfoundland and has two directors: Dana Clancy and Sandy Clancy.

The Canadian Trade Index website lists the company business as "manufacture/distribute/service natural gas compression packages". The company website, sacmfg.ca, appears to be inoperative. A listing at a 2007 Alberta oil and gas show lists the company with an Alberta address which has a 100 hp compressor package designed to produce gas from wells deemed uneconomical due to high water content.

Trans Ocean is not related in any way to SAC.