Thursday, September 30, 2010

There Will Be No Exploration For Oil and Gas In Sections of the Gulf

The government of Quebec took the stand, late last week, that there would be no exploration or operating activities for oil or gas in the basin of the estuary and north-western Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Deputy Premier Nathalie Normandeau said that"in light of the results of the first strategic environmental assessment, we can already confirm that the basin that includes the Estuary and the north-western Gulf of St. Lawrence is too complex and fragile. "

"From the Isle of Orleans to the island of Anticosti, many of the communities are dependent on tourism-related activities or the commercial fishing and it is out of question for our government to develop a new industry to the detriment othesr already existing ", argued Ms. Normandeau.

The government is now awaiting the report of the second strategic environmental assessment in the fall of 2012, that covers the basin of the Bay of Chaleur, the Anticosti Basin (northern Gulf of St. Lawrence) and the Magdalen Basin (southern Gulf of St. Lawrence).

Once the report is submitted to the government in autumn 2012, "Consultations with Aboriginal coastal communities, and the  island of Anticosti basin, Madeleine and the Bay of Chaleur will take place," said Minister Normandeau.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is to supervise the conduct of exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the marine environment.

"The SEA does not replace the work of the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE). Instead, it serves to establish the background which could be carried out against studies of environmental impact on specific projects of oil and gas development in the marine environment and which will subsequently be the subject of hearings BAPE ", said the government statement.

According to estimates, up to 2 billion barrels of oil could be drawn beneath the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, at the reservoir of oil and natural gas at the Old Harry site, which is the subject of a dispute between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

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