Natural Resources Notebook

Ashley
Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Companies agree: no fracking for now

Newly elected Labrador MP Yvonne Jones says she is focusing on economy, transportation, housing and infrastructure.

Lead hands at Enegi Oil want more exploratory oil wells onshore western Newfoundland.

In a recent statement, Enegi Oil’s CEO Alan Minty said “excellent progress” has been made in a partnership with Black Spruce Exploration in the Port au Port area and plans are on for wells with no fracking.

“We are encouraged that in such a short space of time the Black Spruce Energy team have set up an office near site and have implemented actions to ensure that their drill rig is able to execute the anticipated drilling campaign, both from a technical perspective and a regulatory perspective,” he stated.

Black Spruce Energy has expressed interest in drilling and fracking multiple exploratory wells throughout western Newfoundland, but never filed for environmental assessment on those plans.

A proposal for a standard well has also yet to be filed for environmental review.

Jones drops in on Nunavut

On Sept. 30, MP for Labrador Yvonne Jones issued a statement on her recent four-day trip to Iqaluit in the leadup to territorial elections.

“It is my belief that the federal government could be doing much more to support Northern communities, to develop the resource opportunities in the regions and address the challenges of living in the North more effectively,” she said.

Jones is planning a return visit, after the elections are over.

 

Offshore oil R&D

In announcing $3.7-million in funding this week for 34 research projects, the Research and Development Corp. of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) did not leave out projects related to oil and gas.

In addition to help with the equipment for the new Hibernia Enhanced Oil Recovery Lab at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), RDC has offered $100,000 towards work led by Dr. Ayhan Akinturk at MUN’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

“The tragic Deep Water Horizon event in 2010 identified a need for faster deployment of containment systems, increased effectiveness of the containment equipment in rough weather, and increased availability of storage capacity (such as barges and tankers) for recovered oil. An alternative approach to solve these challenges is to use a large, flexible membrane structure that would provide a more cost-effective, easy-to-deploy and reliable solution,” reads the project’s description.

“Before such flexible structures can be implemented, their performance must be predictable. The objective of this research is to develop tools to simulate the behaviour of a flexible structure and develop a risk model for flexible structures under different environmental and operational conditions.”

 

Cliffs clean-up cut back

On Sept. 26, Cliffs Natural Resources released an update on its response to the Sept. 1 oil spill near the companies pellet plant in Point Noire, in Sept-Îles, Que. The cleanup is ongoing, but the number of responders has been reduced.

About 450,000 litres of oil was spilled, the company has reported, but most was captured in an onsite containment area. About 5,000 litres is believed to have escaped containment, running to the nearby bay.

As much as two weeks after the initial spill, more than 20 boats and 200 people on shore were working the cleanup — isolating slicks, washing rocks and cleaning birds.

“The rehabilitation of the shore is being completed. The optimization of some initial recovery activities have been completed sooner than expected, which has led to the demobilization of some work teams assigned to the recovery activities,” reads the latest update.

“A thorough investigation of the root cause remains underway and the company will take the appropriate measures to prevent future incidents.”

 

If we told you ...

Proprietary is the word to use when it comes to the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) conference happening in

St. John’s this week.

The conference is about setting standards for natural resource work in the Arctic.

The fact it is being hosted in Newfoundland and Labrador is being considered a recognition of our commitments to Arctic research and development, according to one organizer.

Minister of Natural Resources Tom Marshall will address conference delegates at a gala tonight at the Johnson GeoCentre.

Even so, the technical sessions and break-out meetings are already underway behind closed doors.

Much of the discussion there involves proprietary tech and commercially sensitive procedures, so organizers have said its no-go for reporters outside the gala event.

 

The Natural Resources Notebook is compiled by reporter Ashley Fitzpatrick.

Do you have news from the resource sectors?

Let us know at news@thetelegram.com.

Organizations: Spruce Energy, Development Corp. of Newfoundland and Labrador, Hibernia Enhanced Oil Recovery Lab University of Newfoundland Applied Science International Organization for Standardization ISO Johnson GeoCentre.Even

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Port au Port, Iqaluit Arctic Point Noire Sept-Îles, Que

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