ARCHIVED – Meeting Summary – 8 December 2010 – Aurora College, Inuvik, NT

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Arctic Offshore Drilling Review

Meeting Summary

Date and Location
Date Location
8 December 2010
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Aurora College
Inuvik, NT

Purpose: Introduce the Arctic Offshore Drilling Review to the Aurora College students of the Natural Resources Technology Program.

Joel McAlister Sr. Instructor
Alice Graham Instructor
Kayla Arey Student
Ernie Francis Student
James Gordon Jr. Student
Maja Haogak Student
Scott Lundrigan Student
Ashtyn McLeod Student
Lawrence Rogers Student
David Sonneveld Student
Kendra Tingmiak Student
Gaétan Caron Chair and Chief Executive Officer, NEB
David Hamilton Member, NEB
Shirley Dawe Assistant Project Manager, Arctic Offshore Drilling Review, NEB
Brian Chambers Northern Advisor, NEB
Bharat Dixit Technical Leader, Conservation of Resources, NEB
Pamela Romanchuk Environmental Specialist, NEB
Susan Gudgeon Northern Coordinator, Arctic Offshore Drilling Review, NEB

Introductory Remarks (NEB):

  • An overview of the Arctic Offshore Drilling Review was provided, including the mandate of the NEB, the events leading up to the Review and generally where drilling may occur in the Beaufort Sea.
  • The Aurora College students were asked "what does the NEB need from companies before it can say yes or no to drilling in the Arctic?"

Dialogue with Aurora College students:

In response to the question put forward, a number of areas of interest and concern were raised by the students, including:

  1. Abandonment:

    • What happens when a well is abandoned and does the NEB check to make sure they are not leaking
    • How does the NEB know there isn't movement because of seafloor changes or earthquakes
    • What happens if the cement erodes

  2. Clarity of Mandate and Authority of the NEB with respect to offshore drilling:

    • How did the NEB start
    • What does it mean that the NEB can "take over" if something happens
    • Who pays for the NEB
    • Is it a good thing for the NEB not to be on the money side of the business
  3. Community Meetings:

    • Need a bigger map for the community visits
    • Lots of visuals would be helpful in the communities
    • Biggest concern will likely be wildlife and the environment
    • Will community members have a vote before the NEB makes a decision

  4. Emergency Response and Preparedness:

    • Will there be people there to respond right away
    • Are there surprise inspections to make sure the companies are following the rules
    • Should a relief well be drilled at the same time
    • Who says when the cleanup is finished
    • Where are the ice breakers
    • How quick can the Government respond if the NEB needs money because it has to take over the cleanup
    • If a company has a blowout in one place and they have more than one well, are all the wells shut down or just the one
  5. General:

    • How could what happened in the Gulf happen if everything was supposed to be okay
    • When does the Board decide to say yes or no
    • How does it decide if the risk is too high
    • If there is an oil spill, who pays – what happens if a company can't pay
    • How can unproven technologies be tested – how can you test without using it
    • Will there be another boom like in the 1970's
    • $40 million won't be enough to recover from a disaster
    • Will traditional knowledge be used as part of the baseline information
    • Might be helpful to have a refresher of the land claim agreements – could ask IRC and GTC leaders to give a refresher to students
    • How many potential energy finds are there and how many are being developed
    • How big is a mammoth find
    • How does the NEB prevent companies from taking shortcuts?
    • What are some of the other organizations that are being consulted with and what concerns do they have?
    • What happens if a company goes bankrupt?

  6. Unique Arctic Environment:

    • If there is a spill, how will anyone get through the ice
    • Will there be different equipment needed because of the cold water
    • Even if dispersants could get at the oil under the ice, would they work in the Arctic
    • Isolation is a matter that needs to be considered

  7. Value of Resources:

    • Migratory birds, fish, caribou, etc. go across borders
    • Rely on animals, fish and birds for food

Concluding Remarks:

  • NEB will be back in Inuvik in January to listen to people and hear their perspectives and concerns and would be pleased to have student present their views
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