British Columbia made its Offshore Technology Conference debut on May 5 at Reliant Center in Houston.
Since the 1980s there has been a moratorium on drilling offshore British Columbia. But Minister of Competition, Science, and Enterprise Rick Thorpe and Minister of Energy and Mines Richard Neufeld, have commissioned studies to prove that offshore drilling is scientifically and environmentally sound, and intend to have an offshore oil and gas industry running by 2010. A three-member independent panel has reviewed the studies and made 15 recommendations, concluding that with today's technological advancements, there is no reason not to drill offshore.
The ministers have appointed the Offshore Oil and Gas Team, which is dedicated to achieving the 2010 goal.
Under the direction of Thorpe and Neufeld, the seven-member team has been working with local industry, the federal government, First Nations, coastal communities, and researchers to establish a regulatory and investment climate that will enable an offshore oil and gas industry to develop and flourish. The team is made up of lawyers, geologists, and First Nations specialists.
British Columbia is rich with natural resources and is working to build a new industry, which will benefit the coastal communities and local service providers, as well as supply oil and gas in a future of greater demand and fewer resources.
The ministers expect the federal government to make a decision to lift the moratorium within a year.