Canada: Funds available for public engagement in offshore drilling assessment

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) has made funds available to assist in participation in the regional assessment of offshore drilling east of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Illustration; Henry Goodrich drilling rig is currently working in Canada / Image Author: Ronnie Robertson/Flickr, shared under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

The CEAA said on Thursday that funding was made available through its Participant Funding Program to assist the participation of the public and indigenous groups in the regional assessment of offshore drilling east of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Regional Assessment will focus on the effects of existing and anticipated offshore oil and gas exploratory drilling in the offshore area east of Newfoundland and Labrador.

According to the Agency, funding is available for eligible individuals and groups to assist their participation in activities related to the regional assessment.

This includes preparing for and participating in workshops and meetings as well as reviewing and providing comments on relevant documents.

Applications received by January 8, 2019, will be considered while the recipients and the amount of funding allocated will be announced at a later date.

It is worth noting that the public comment period on the draft agreement to conduct a regional assessment was closed in October. Comments received are being considered to inform the preparation of the final agreement.

“The regional assessment aims to improve the efficiency of the environmental assessment process as it applies to oil and gas exploration drilling, while at the same time ensuring the highest standards of environmental protection continue to be applied and maintained,” the agency said.

Output hit by the storm

Worth noting, the call for funding comes just after a powerful storm, strongest since 1982, last month shut down production at several oil installations offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

Husky-operated SeaRose FPSO spilled about 250 cubic meters (250,000 liters) of oil into the environment as a result of the storm. The FPSO remains shut-in. The spill has been dubbed the largest in Newfoundland and Labrador’s history.

Other facilities that were shut down include Suncor’s Terra Nova, and Exxon’s Hibernia and Hebron platforms.

There are two offshore drilling rigs in operation off Canada, Husky-operated Henry Goodrich, and Suncor-run Transocean Barents.

Both rigs had moved away from drill centers in advance of the storm.On December 4, the safety body C-NLOPB acknowledged Husky’s plan to resume drilling operations on the Henry Goodrich. Repairs have been finished to a mooring chain and anchor winch and Husky has received verification by the Certifying Authority that all post-storm inspections and checks have been satisfactorily completed.

As for the Transocean Barents, prior to the storm, the rig had secured the well to prepare to disconnect to ride out the storm. As part of the disconnect process prior to the storm, there was damage to the communications components that provide interface between the Blowout Preventer (BOP) and the Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP).

On December 4, the C-NLOPB approved the plan for re-latching the LMRP to the BOP. Suncor continues to progress the development of plans for placing additional suspension plugs in the well and for retrieving the BOP for repairs, C-NLOPB said earlier this week.

Offshore Energy Today Staff