Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

"Still no interest in exploring high Arctic": official

Still no interest in exploring high Arctic: official
Last Updated: Friday, January 4, 2008 | 9:36 AM CT
CBC News

Companies have yet to take up the federal government's invitation to explore the high Arctic for oil and gas, even though that invitation has been extended for the sixth year in a row.

Richard Casey, an official with the federal Indian and Northern Affairs Department, told CBC News that there has been no interest from any company to explore for oil and gas around Axel Heiberg Island, located west of Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, or in any surrounding areas.

During exploratory work in the 1980s, those areas were identified as having the potential for oil and gas, Casey said. Still, he said there may be several reasons why no one's shown interest in the area.

"There's no pipelines, they're not shipping the resource out with tankers or whatever if they're going for oil. So there's no infrastructure in place so that they could get this product to market," Casey said Thursday.

"Maybe the other thing would be the cost of exploring the high Arctic."

Another reason, Casey said, could be a lack of federal exploration incentives: certain incentives for oil and gas exploration that were available in the 1980s no longer exist.

Anyone interested in exploring in or around Axel Heiberg Island must go through the regulatory process, he said. The federal department regulates oil and gas development offshore in the North.


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