Beaufort Sea drilling project proposal will not require further review
OTTAWA, ONT-The Beaufort Sea exploration drilling program in the Northwest Territories, proposed by Devon Canada Corporation, will not undergo further assessment by a review panel or mediator under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Having made his decision, federal Environment Minister StÈphane Dion referred the project back to the lead responsible authority, the National Energy Board (NEB), as well as to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada, and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada for appropriate action. The minister concluded that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, provided the mitigation measures outlined in the comprehensive study report are implemented. Devon Canada is proposing to conduct an exploratory drilling program to evaluate potential natural gas reservoirs in the southern Beaufort Sea, north of the Mackenzie River Delta. The exploration drilling would be conducted during the winter, within the landfast ice zone, from one of three potential drilling platform systems: a steel drilling caisson, a landfast tender-assist drill unit; or an ice island platform. The company hopes to drill the first well during the winter of 2005-2006, and one well each subsequent winter season, completing the program in the winter of 2008- 2009.