After the very public failure of a number of Arctic drilling attempts last year, Big Oil companies are lobbying the government of Canada to extend their drilling licenses and relinquish hundreds of millions in security deposits.
The Liberal government says it is proceeding, behind closed doors, with a review of Canada's Arctic drilling law that could see it relinquish up to $500 million to major oil companies that want to use the money to pursue risky exploration projects. Not only do the big oil companies want extensions on their contracts, they are seeking repayment on the collective $500 million in security deposits to obtain those licenses—after they give Arctic drilling another shot.
Arctic oil exploration has slowed down in the wake of a plunge in global commodity prices. The industry also struggled to meet new safety conditions imposed by authorities following BP's 2010 offshore drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Environmentalists who have reviewed the paper trail say they have been skeptical about the review ever since it was announced.
"Now, (the review) is being continued under a different government, and it's possible that this minister has a different objective of the review than (former Conservative minister) Valcourt," said Speers-Roesch, from Greenpeace Canada. "So I guess you can't be sure that the same attitude is there. Maybe they're taking a different approach, but that remains to be seen."
View February 29, 2016 National Observer article
View February 29, 2016 eNews Part Forest article
View November 24, 2015 National Observer article
View Canada Petroleum Resources Act
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