Meeting Summary - 17 May 2011

Arctic Offshore Drilling Review

Information Meeting Summary

Date and Location
Date Location
Tuesday
17 May 2011
1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Ingamo Hall
Inuvik, NT

Purpose: Phase 2 Information Meeting

Participants
Participants
Brian Chambers Northern Advisor, NEB
Bharat Dixit Technical Leader, Exploration and Production, NEB
Pamela Romanchuk Environmental Specialist, NEB
Susan Gudgeon Northern Coordinator, NEB

Presentation (NEB):

National Energy Board staff gave a presentation providing an overview of:

  • the Board's role in the North
  • the scope of the Arctic Offshore Drilling Review
  • what has occurred to date including stakeholder meetings and information filed
  • where the Review is now at
  • what is coming up
  • funding

Questions and Comments:

The following questions and comments were posed:

  • Is anything discussed in the presentation in place now or is it just talk at this point?
  • Once applications come in, is it the Environmental Impact Screening Committee that has to look at them first?
  • Is the National Energy Board/federal government part of any international treaties that would be involved in the process?
  • How much influence does the International Regulatory Forum have on the National Energy Board and this Review?
  • Is Greenpeace going to be part of the Review?
  • Out of eight countries, are there five doing reviews like this one?
  • Is there currently any production in the Canadian Arctic offshore?
  • For the past three years, can't get any contracts even though owning a wildlife monitoring company. This winter the Hunters & Trappers Committee had wildlife monitors on a job.
  • Will the National Energy Board be training more monitors (local individuals) to back up its environmental role?
  • Was the information received in response to the Calls for Information sufficient to satisfy the National Energy Board or will further Calls for Information be issued?
  • Could a quick summary be given on what happened with BP and how that information will be incorporated into the Review?
  • How would a rig be physically built given what happened in the Gulf?
  • How big of a pipe is typically being used?
  • Are the operators building these drill ships as we speak?
  • Will the equipment be proven and tested (blow out preventers, cementing equipment, etc.) before being put into use? Don't want to be troubleshooting.
  • Is the National Energy Board's role with contractors direct or through the operators?
  • Will today's presentation and the meeting summary be posted on the Board's website?
  • Has the Obama report been received?
  • Is the ice infested water experience of Norway part of the information and lessons being considered in the Review?
  • The Arctic Councils signed the declaration last week and this included Russia. Lessons learned by them could be used even though they may have less offshore experience.
  • Has there been any inventory done of the available infrastructure? Some of the closest equipment that would be needed is in Sarnia and that is a minimum of two days away.
  • Has sensitive habitat areas been identified (beluga zones, Herschel Island, etc.)?
  • There is a project underway to do a coastal survey but the timeline for this is uncertain.
  • The last stage of the lifecycle (Abandonment) should be changed to "Reclamation". There are already materials left behind from past work that companies are having to take care of.
  • How dispersants may or may not work needs to be tested for the Arctic environment. Even if the oil is no longer visible to the eye doesn't mean there are not going to be long term effects. Norway may have already done this and this should be checked out.
  • Recommendations need to be strengthened to address land claim agreements. This will be a matter that will be brought up in September at the Roundtable.
  • Has same season relief well capability been tested in Canada - not just in the Arctic, but anywhere in Canada?
  • What is the BREA initiative?
  • There is concern all over the world about spills and spill response. Is the National Energy Board taking this into consideration?
  • Can each spill response plan be different for every operator?
  • Who is responsible for spill response (Coast Guard, Transport Canada, National Energy Board) is still disorganized and needs to be coordinated.
  • One critical concern is a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of federal departments.
  • Are the safety measures different between Crown lands and Inuvialuit Settlement Region lands?
  • Will the National Energy Board have observers in Alaska (Shell) when there are activities underway?
  • Will the National Energy Board have access to see what Shell files for their Alaska activities?

Concluding remarks:

NEB staff are available to assist in:

  • completing registration forms for the Roundtable as well as funding applications; and
  • navigating through the information filed with the Board and contained on the website.

Copies of DVDs containing the information on the NEB Arctic Offshore Drilling Review website are available.

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