Birchcliff Energy Ltd. announced that Seymour Schulich has acquired an additional 2.5 million common shares of Birchcliff, and that the company has signed agreements for the firm service transportation of 175,000 gigajoules per day of natural gas.

Increase in ownership by Seymour Schulich

Schulich has informed Birchcliff that he recently acquired control and direction over an additional 2.5 million common shares of Birchcliff through the facilities of the Toronto Stock Exchange. As a result of this purchase, Schulich now beneficially owns or exercises control or direction over a total of 37.5 million common shares of Birchcliff, representing approximately 14 per cent of the current issued and outstanding common shares. Schulich advised Birchcliff that he acquired the additional 2.5 million common shares for investment purposes.

“This additional investment by Mr. Schulich represents a vote of confidence in Birchcliff's assets and management. Birchcliff believes that the current trading price of its common shares is not reflective of the value of Birchcliff's assets as a whole and it appreciates Mr. Schulich's continued support and financial investment,” the company stated.

Additional firm service transportation

Birchcliff has signed agreements with TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. (TCPL) for the firm service transportation of 175,000 GJ per day in aggregate (approximately 155 mmcf per day) of natural gas on TCPL's Canadian Mainline for a 10-year term, whereby natural gas will be transported from the Empress receipt point in Alberta to the Dawn trading hub located in Southern Ontario. Provision of the service is conditional on, among other things, TCPL receiving National Energy Board (NEB) approval on terms and conditions satisfactory to TCPL.

"We believe that the agreement reached by industry with TCPL regarding the implementation of a long-term fixed price toll on TCPL's mainline to Dawn, Ontario is vitally important to Birchcliff and Alberta's other natural gas producers," said Jeff Tonken, president and chief executive officer. "We strongly support this initiative because this new toll when implemented should provide Alberta natural gas producers with the ability to compete effectively for natural gas markets in eastern Canada."