Newspaper article The Canadian Press

BP Canada Given the Go-Ahead to Start Drilling off Nova Scotia Coast

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

BP Canada Given the Go-Ahead to Start Drilling off Nova Scotia Coast

Article excerpt

BP Canada given green light to drill in N.S.

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HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's offshore petroleum regulator has granted BP Canada Energy Group approval to begin drilling a well off the province's coast.

The Aspy D-11 exploration well is the first in BP Canada's Scotian Basin Exploration Project, which could see up to seven exploration wells drilled off the southeast coast of Nova Scotia over a three-year period.

The oil and gas company submitted an application to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board in September 2017 to drill an exploration well approximately 330 kilometres off the coast of Halifax.

Anita Perry, BP Canada's regional manager for Nova Scotia, described the application process as lengthy and rigorous.

"We're confident we addressed all issues and risks for a safe drilling program," she said in a phone interview Saturday, shortly after the approval was announced.

Perry did not say when exactly drilling will commence, but confirmed "it'll be soon."

Exploration wells are used to find gas and oil, but further approval from CNSOPB is required before anything can be extracted.

"You never produce from an exploration well. We will drill the well, and we will assess if there are any hydrocarbons that are there," Perry said, adding the company will plug the well once the exploratory project is completed.

Speaking from the Liberal Party of Canada convention in Halifax on Saturday, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil threw his support behind the planned exploration.

He said he's hopeful that the potential discovery of natural resources will help boost the province's economy, but the fickle nature of oil and gas prices could pose a challenge.

"That resource, if it becomes available, and the costs associated with that, will be managed in a way that actually allows us to build in the services that Nova Scotians want, but making sure that if there's a fluctuation, they're not put in jeopardy," he said. …

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