Require Relief Wells From the Start

It appears some countries are aware of the dangers involved in off shore drilling. Canada has a standing policy for some of these wells that require a relief well to be dug before a disaster so that during an event like the BP well in the Gulf, sealing the well via the relief would be ready at a moment’s notice. Citizens of the Gulf have already waited a month, and expect to wait until August before one of BP’s relief wells reaches the leak. Officials in Canada are currently trying to reverse such laws, but recent events may be too hard to ignore. Hopefully President Obama will announce a similar requirement today during his speech.

Paul Watson writes for TheStar,

In the western Arctic, oil companies are pressing federal regulators to ease demands for relief wells that might help avert disasters like the one unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil firms operating in the Beaufort Sea must be able to drill relief wells, and if necessary, safely shut them down with original wells during a single Arctic drilling season.

Imperial Oil, BP, which owns the well leaking in the Gulf, and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers have asked the National Energy Board to suspend the regulation, which has been in effect for more than three decades.

Canadian areas of the Beaufort and the Mackenzie River delta are rich in oil and natural gas in 53 known fields. At least 183 exploration wells and 66 development wells have been drilled since the mid-1960s.

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