Position Statement Re. Off-shore Drilling

The Friends of Sable Island recently learned that there is a rig contracted by BP Canada approximately 120 SW of Sable Island in deep water and it could begin drilling for oil any day now.

It is our position that any off-shore drilling happening in the Sable Island vicinity, as elsewhere, must be done in compliance with the regulatory agencies that have a role in ensuring it is done safely with minimal environmental impact.

Sable Island is a fragile ecosystem, national park, and Canadian treasure. Its flora and fauna, groundwater and historical significance must be protected and preserved. Off-shore petroleum exploration and development thus has to be carried out in a manner that protects Sable Island and its surrounding waters.

We have faith that the federal and provincial agencies who hold responsibility for ensuring this occurs, in addition to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board and the oil companies themselves, agree with the Friends of Sable Island in this regard and will comply with any and all measures to ensure there are no spills, blow-outs, accidents, or injuries to humans, animals or land or marine ecosystems.

Historically, off-shore drilling in the area has not led to petroleum contamination on Sable Island and our concerns are thus mitigated by history which shows that to date, precautions have been 100% effective. It’s not, however, a time to be complacent. Lessons can also be learned from off-shore drilling disasters elsewhere and as always, best practices, such as easy access to emergency equipment that may be required in the event of a blow-out, i.e., a capping stack, be adhered to and advanced to prevent and mitigate similar disasters in this situation.

Click here for more information on the project and the environmental assessment.