Georges Bank moratorium extended by Nova Scotia government
Fishing bank has been off limits since 1988; now protected until 2022
The Nova Scotia government is extending the Georges Bank moratorium on oil and gas exploration and drilling.
The fishing bank has been off limits since 1988. This extends the protection until at least 2022. Ottawa passed a similar protection bill last June. Such exploration comes under the joint jurisdiction of the provinces and federal government.
BP and Chevron have drilling and exploration rights in the region, but will remain unable to use those leases.
Two parcels just outside the exclusion boundary and buffer zone have recently been granted to Statoil Canada Ltd., a Norwegian-based oil and gas company. It has promised to spend $82 million exploring the two properties.
Although some have expressed concern about activity so close to Georges Bank, Energy Minister Michel Samson is convinced it can happen safely.
"We have been doing offshore oil and gas development in Nova Scotia for many years and again we're very proud of the safety and environmental record which we have here," Samson said.
"We believe this industry can continue to coexist with our fishery and continue to play an important part in the economy of our province."