Canadian Consulting Engineer

Governments issue draft to control environmental impact of ocean drilling

The Canadian government together with the provinces of British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia...

March 3, 2005   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Canadian government together with the provinces of British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia have released a draft recommendation on ways of mitigating the impacts of seismic activity in the marine environment. Seismic activity results from drilling and man-made explosions. The governments released the draft Statement of Canadian Practice on February 19.
Once it is finalized, the document will establish environmental protection rules that must be followed when conducting any seismic work in the marine environment in Canada.
“We recognize that seismic surveying is an essential activity without which there can be no petroleum exploration or development,” said Newfoundland and Labrador Natural Resources Minister Ed Byrne.
The federal government and provinces are also developing a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize their partnership to implement the agreement. The public has 60 days to examine the draft and make comments.
Meanwhile, B.C.’s Energy Minister is not happy that the federal government has not yet lifted its moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the West Coast. It has set up a special B.C. Offshore Oil and Gas Team to realize its plan of having drilling operational by 2010. British Columbia is especially disgruntled over the moratorium when there is no similar ban on the East Coast where oil and gas companies are operating and generating revenues for the Maritime provinces.
However, environmental opposition to drilling off the B.C. coast is high. Last fall a federal review panel found that three-quarters of the submissions it received were in favour of maintaining a moratorium.
To view the draft Statement of Canadian Practice, see http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca


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