Five geo-technical hazards that could trip up northern exploration
January 25, 2012
The Beaufort Sea is arguably the last remaining untouched petroleum frontier in Canada. Much of the debate about whether the National Energy Board should reopen the icy waters to exploration has revolved around existing policies that compel companies to drill a same-season relief well as a safeguard in the event of a blowout.
Arctic hopefuls including Conoco-Phillips Canada, Imperial Oil Ltd., Chevron Corp and Shell Canada Ltd. say the measure is unnecessary. Plugging a rogue well “can be achieved faster through the application of a capping system versus the drilling of a relief well,” said Mike Peacock, exploration manager with Imperial, addressing a September 2011 roundtable meeting in Inuvik.