Canada approves CNOOC’s offshore drilling plan

The Chinese oil company CNOOC has received permission to drill in Canada’s Flemish Pass, 400 kilometers east of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Chinese company is proposing to conduct an exploration drilling project within two offshore exploration licenses in the Flemish Pass Basin.

“The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, has announced that the proposed CNOOC International Flemish Pass Exploration Drilling Project can proceed,” the government said on Wednesday.

The project, formerly known as Nexen Energy ULC Flemish Pass Exploration Drilling Project, would take place over eight years, starting in 2020, and would allow for CNOOC to determine the presence, nature, and quantities of potential hydrocarbon resources.

Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources, said: “We know how important the offshore is for the future of Newfoundland & Labrador. These exploration projects create good jobs while ensuring the environment continues to be protected at the highest level.”

The government said the decision was made following a thorough and science-based environmental assessment process concluding that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when mitigation measures are taken into account.

According to figures provided by CNOOC, 100 to 200 people would be working on the offshore drilling installation during operations with an equal or greater number of personnel also involved in support activities.

Between 2020 and 2028, the CNOOC could drill up to ten offshore wells, using a single offshore drilling unit, along with supply vessels and helicopters that would travel between the drilling areas and existing shore-based facilities on the island of Newfoundland and the airport in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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