Monday, May 10, 2010

Chevron Begins Deep Drilling in Newfoundland

You'd think the current global disaster incurred by BP drilling too deeply for oil would have taught Chevron something. But they seem unable or unwilling to heed the lesson: they're actually going forward with plans to do deep drilling in Newfoundland, according to CBC.

And since the temperature in Newfoundland is far more freezing cold than that which BP engineers encountered at 5000 ft. in the Gulf of Mexico, a catastrophic oil leak could be even more unfixable. BP's attempt to cover the leak with a hastily-contrived dome failed because of the extreme cold, as well as the extreme pressure.

But scientist Bill Montevecchi says Chevron's plan is unsound.

Chevron plans to drill in 2,600 metres of water, or more than a kilometre deeper than the Deepwater Horizon project off Louisiana, where thousands of barrels of oil have spewed daily since an April 20 rupture and explosion.

Bill Montevecchi, a Memorial University seabird researcher, questions whether the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board — which regulates the oil industry — even knows enough about the offshore to protect the environment.

"We're about to charge ahead and assume we have a safety regime in place that's adequate, when in fact we've never had an independent observer on a platform," Montevecchi said.

Montevecchi said there should be a moratorium on deepsea drilling off Newfoundland until much stronger environmental safety rules are in place.