Canadian oil companies say they will not be able to drill in Arctic deep waters unless the National Energy Board drops a provision that requires them to be able to quickly complete a relief well in the event of a blowout.
The board had agreed to review its rule for requiring companies to be able to deal with a blowout by drilling a relief well in the same season. After BP's Gulf of Mexico blowout, the regulator suspended planned hearings on the issue, and said this week that it will examine its entire regulatory approach, including the same-season relief well policy.
In its March submission, BP said the same-season relief well policy “ought to be rescinded, and replaced by a series of goal-oriented regulations” that would include preventive measures and mitigation efforts that would include longer schedule for drilling a relief well.
In fact, Imperial Oil Ltd. had asked the NEB for an exemption from that relief-well regulation as it prepares for a drilling program in Ajurak property, which lies 120 kilometres off shore in 650 metres of water.
A strict application of the rule “would essentially preclude the drilling of deepwater wells, such as the Ajurak exploration well, which require multiseason operations,” Imperial said in a submission to the board earlier this year.”
Hmmm - the NEB is worried about the propect of oil belching into the Arctic ocean. Frivolously and needlessly? After all, it has been easy to stop the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico and to prevent damage to delicate ecoystems, there. Am I right?
If efforts fail to cap the leaking Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico, oil could gush for years—poisoning coastal habitats for decades, experts say. "We don't have any idea how to stop this," Simmons said of the Gulf leak. Some of the proposed strategies—such as temporarily plugging the leaking pipe with a jet of golf balls and other material—are a "joke," he added.And the next hurricane season is about to begin. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATWOAT+shtml/302338.shtml
I have always assumed that oil company executives are doing the best that they can in the corporate environment - that they do not really wish to despoil ecosystems or warm the entire earth. After all, they are under enormous pressure to produce short term profits for their shareholders. Therefore, they cannot take measures to protect the environment if the compettition is not doing the same - which means no company will do so unless forced by regulations.
If we don't pressure our governments to prevent such environmental disasters, we're collectively insane.
Write the Prime Minister and ask him to have place a moratorium on deep water drilling in the Arctic. Ask him to fund alternative energies in the same letter.