Margaret river offshore drilling lease approved by federal environment agency
by Staff Writers
Ottawa (AP) Sept 23, 2006
An Ontario provincial government regulator approved plans Thursday to allow Ottawa-based TransCanada Corp. to drill in some of Canada’s most important and remote offshore oil sands areas of the Bay of Fundy.
The Environment Canada environmental impact assessment panel unanimously approved a permit application to begin exploratory drilling in the Mackenzie and Strathcona oil basins off the northwestern coast of Maine. The assessment panel concluded that the proposed drilling would impact on land and water, including drinking water, habitat, fisheries and recreation areas.
In a brief written response to questions from Parliament, Environment Canada spokesman Scott Brudnick said the agency did not have enough information to approve the permit and “the agency’s views remain the same today that they had when they issued its final decision in 2006.”
He said th바카라ere are no plans to drill in the MacKenzie river.
TransCanada has said the Mackenzie and Strathcona oil deposits are among the largest and the most productive oilsands reserves on earth and are estimated to hold an extra 30 billion barrels of oil. The company has said it will spend $7 billion over the next decade to develop the regions of the oilsands, which are among Canada’s most expensive sources of production.
A federal permit process to drill in the region would require the approval of Environment Canada’s Board of Environmental Appeals. The board has an unusual role — it is made up of three senators f바카라사이트rom each party and four members appointed by cabinet ministers.
Brudnick said officials are now finalizing how the board’s final decision will be implemented. TransCanada will also need to meet various requireme우리카지노nts, including having an environmental impact assessment to assess the effect on the region’s fish and wildlife.
In its application, TransCanada said the oil sands are among the most technically difficult areas it has to drill because they are “vast, complex and remote.”
“We expect to conduct exploratory exploration in our oil sands areas on an oil sands-only basis, and we’re proceeding with our current drilling plan which is to drill up to four wells, but without moving further from land,” Brudnick said.
Canada’s federal Environment Minister, Peter Kent, who was briefed by TransCanada’s lawyers, said the government will move more quickly on issues regarding oil sands pollution, including a ban on oil sand extraction in B.C. and a proposed moratorium on new pipelines or tanker