Alberta minister says urban drilling can be done safely

Alberta's energy minister says a review on how oil and gas development can co-exist in urban areas will be finished next month.

Provincial review on oil and gas development in urban areas expected to be released in the new year

'If there can be drilling the heart of Los Angeles there can presumably be drilling in some urban areas in Calgary,' Energy Minister Ken Hughes said. (CBC)

Alberta's energy minister says a review on how oil and gas development can co-exist in urban areas will be finished next month.

"If there can be drilling the heart of Los Angeles there can presumably be drilling in some urban areas in Calgary, but what you need to do is ensure that you have appropriate setbacks and appropriate rules for that kind of activity," he said.

Lethbridge is one of many communities that is currently objecting to drilling within city limits.

A company has the mineral rights to land in southwest Lethbridge and it's applying to drill three oil wells.

The city passed a resolution opposing the plan last month.

It says the project would create major costs in protective infrastructure and freeze developments on land surrounding it.

However, the city has no jurisdiction over oil and gas development.

Hughes says the resources need to be extracted in a way that respects the fact it is in an urban community, but he believes it can be done safely.

It's not the first time the issue has registered in the province.

Residents in a Calgary community celebrated in September after Kaiser Energy scrapped its plans for an urban drill site near their homes.

They raised safety concerns about the proximity of the well site to their homes in Royal Oak.

In the end, the oil company decided to move the well more than two kilometres away to an old industrial site.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.