Newfoundland & Labrador is proceeding with the high-risk game of oil exploration in ultra-deep water, as regulators in the province express confidence in industry’s safety practices despite the ecological catastrophe of BP PLC’s Gulf of Mexico blowout, wrote The Globe and Mail June 3:
Canada’s East Coast is now the only region in North America where oil companies can continue to drill deepwater exploration wells after President Barack Obama last week ordered the industry to suspend such operations in the Gulf of Mexico, pending a review of the BP disaster.
Gail Fraser, a biologist in York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies who studies offshore oil regulations, said she worries an accident like the one that has confounded BP would gush into the North Atlantic for months, killing sea birds, fish and marine mammals.
She argued that Chevron should be required to begin drilling a relief well even as it proceeds with the primary exploration well – though the industry argues such an approach would be both risky and prohibitively expensive.
“You can damage a lot of populations in a couple of months,” she said. “Is there going to be anything left alive in the Gulf of Mexico?”
Fraser also spoke about changes at the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board in the wake of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, on CBC Radio St. John’s, Nfld., June 2.
Republished courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.