Alberta minister says urban drilling can be done safely
Provincial review on oil and gas development in urban areas expected to be released in the new year
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.