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Minister backs Arctic oil drilling offshore Canada’s Northwest Territories by 2020

Minister backs Arctic oil drilling offshore Canada’s Northwest Territories by 2020

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Houston: A government official from Canada’s Northwest Territories has expressed hope that the Arctic waters off NWT’s coast will be host to offshore drilling within five years.

It has been more than 30 years since Canada entertained such exploration and production in the Beaufort Sea but now the prospect is looking possible again with a joint venture of Imperial Oil, ExxonMobil Canada and BP Exploration.

David Ramsay, member of the NWT Legislative Assembly and its Investment Minister expressed the hope at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, saying: “Our hope is we see drilling activity back in the Canadian Beaufort in the next four to five years.”

If it gets final approval from environmental regulators, ad of the joint venture partners commit to the full investment the Beaufort Sea exploration project could be operational by summer of 2020.

Ramsay acknowledged the strong concerns of environmentalists about the potential for ecological damage in the event of a drilling accident. “There have to be mitigation plans in place. We can’t afford to make a mistake, especially in a pristine environment like the Arctic.”

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Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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