Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna announced that the proposed Scotian Basin exploration drilling project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects and the project can proceed.
The project is an exploration drilling project proposed by BP Canada ULC located approximately 230 to 370 kilometres off the southeast coast of Nova Scotia.
In reaching her decision, the Minister considered the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's (CEAA) Environmental Assessment Report. The report includes the agency's conclusions and recommendations on the potential environmental effects of the project, the proposed mitigation measures, the significance of any adverse environmental effects and the follow-up program.
As part of the environmental assessment decision statement, the minister established legally-binding conditions, including mitigation measures and follow-up requirements that the proponent must meet throughout the life of the project. Implementing these conditions will reduce or eliminate the potential effects of the project on the environment.
As a next step, the proponent is required to obtain the appropriate regulatory authorizations and permits before the project can be carried out.
BP is proposing to conduct an exploration drilling program consisting of up to seven exploration wells within Exploration Licenses 2431, 2432, 2433, and 2434. It would take place over a three year period starting in 2018 pending required approvals. Specific drilling locations would be determined using seismic data gathered as part of BP’s 3D seismic exploration program conducted in 2014.