Ottawa proposes Beaufort extension

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nathan VanderKlippe

Oil and gas companies should be given nearly three additional years to drill in the Beaufort Sea after having their efforts suspended by a National Energy Board Arctic offshore drilling review, the federal government has proposed. Ottawa intends to grant BP PLC, ConocoPhillips Co., Chevron Corp., Imperial Oil Ltd. and Arctic Energy & Minerals Ltd. new exploration licences that more than compensate them for time lost to that review. The federal government has said the new licences would not "result in a net gain" for those companies, which must drill within a set window or forfeit money they have pledged to spend on drilling. But the companies have been handed extensions of 34 months when the Arctic review took just under 20 months to complete.