si-oil-well

Although already approved to drill an oil well roughly 241 metres from the Royal Oak Shopping Centre, Kaiser Explorations has put its plan on hold until resident concerns are reviewed. (Google)

A tiny sliver of hope has emerged for residents in Royal Oak and Rocky Ridge fighting the construction of a sweet oil well in their community.

Kaiser Explorations says it already has the approval to drill an oil well in Calgary's northwest, but has suspended its plans for now while Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) reviews residents' concerns.

An ERCB spokesperson says there are no safety issues associated with the well, although it will be just 390 meters from the nearest homes.

Some residents say they still have concerns, like the safety of their drinking water and emergency response plans.

"If the ERCB does not approve the well licence, then we do not have the right to drill the well," said Ned Beattie, Kaiser's general manager.

However, if the ERCB gives the project the green light, Beattie says construction will commence and a working drill will be installed.

But for now, Kaiser said it will not start construction until either the review comes back from the ERCB or late June — whichever comes later.

Kaiser said in a release that it had chosen the end of June to start construction because of the longer days and the trees in the area would be in full foliage, which it feels would minimize the visual and audible impacts of the drilling.