There was good news for an impoverished region of Quebec today, as well as people in the province who use oil imported from outside the province: A Quebec company has struck oil.

Reports The Canadian Press: “Junex Inc. announced Tuesday that it’s recovered through eight months of testing nearly 18,000 barrels of light, sweet crude produced at its Galt No. 4 horizontal well.”

“What we see here is the most significant oil recovery in Quebec’s history,” Junex CEO Peter Dorrins said.

The company is seeking a provincial permit to begin production, and sees itself producing about 240 barrels a day. It says it will earn a profit despite low oil prices.

According to The Canadian Press, “Preliminary estimates say Junex’s Galt property — which would contain several wells — has 557 million barrels of oil, of which about 10 per cent is recoverable.”

But no sooner was the news made public that environmentalists declared that they will oppose the company’s bid for an application. Equiterre said they want Quebec to phase out the use of fossil fuels altogether.Which, you know, is not going to be happening any time soon. People will be using fossil fuels for a long time to come, whether they come from Quebec or elsewhere.

Greenpeace took a more practical approach by calling for an environmental hearing on the subject, which I think is a good idea. What are the risks to the environment from such a project? That should be the No. 1 concern. One plus about this project is it doesn’t involve fracturing, a highly controversial subject in Quebec, The Canadian Press notes in its report.

This has the potential to be a big win-win situation for Quebec. Junex would become the province’s first oil producer in a century, the report says.

But environmentalists may derail the whole thing, leaving Quebecers dependent on fossil fuels from out West and abroad.

It will be interesting to see how this story plays out.

Stay tuned.

— Jillian

Photo credit: Oil rig. (Richard Bartz/Wikimedia Commons)