Canada’s Environment Minister, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, has announced yesterday, June 15, 2015, that the proposed Shell’s Shelburne Basin Venture Exploration Drilling Project, located approximately 250 kilometres off the coast of Nova Scotia, is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
In her environmental assessment decision statement, the Minister has set out legally binding conditions, which include mitigation measures and follow-up requirements that the proponent must meet to proceed with the project.
In reaching her decision, the Minister considered the Environmental Assessment Report that includes the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s conclusions and recommendations on the potential environmental effects of the project, the proposed mitigation measures, the significance of any remaining adverse environmental effects, and the follow-up program.
As part of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 put in place to support the government’s Responsible Resource Development Initiative, the Agency conducted a federal environmental assessment of this project using a science-based approach.
As the project proceeds to the next phase, it will continue to be subject to Canada’s strong environmental laws, rigorous enforcement and follow-up, and fines for non-compliance, the press release reads.
Shell Canada Limited intends to conduct an exploratory drilling program approximately 250 kilometres off the coast of Nova Scotia, consisting of up to seven exploration wells within Exploration Licenses 2423, 2424, 2425, 2426, 2429, and 2430, over a four year period from 2015 to 2019.
Specific drilling locations will be determined using seismic data gathered as part of the Shelburne Basin 3D seismic survey conducted in summer 2013.