Public review of the Gulf Canada Resources Limited Kulluk drilling program, 1990-1992
Environmental Impact Review Board
[Inuvik, N.W.T. : The Board], 1990.
68 p. ; 28 cm.
ASTIS record 42608.
... The application before the Board is for approval of Gulf's Kulluk Drilling Program 1990-1992. This application is the second that has been referred to the Board for public review since the establishment of the Board in 1985. ... The decision of the Board is that it has no responsible option but to recommend strongly against approval of the Gulf Drilling Program. In the course of its deliberations, the board has striven to find terms and conditions it could recommend and upon which the Board would feel safe and confident in recommending that the development or even a portion of it proceed. It has been unable to do so. There are two principal reasons for the Board's final decision. Firstly, it is the conclusion of the Board, based on all the evidence and information it has heard and received, that there is a startling lack of preparedness evident on the part of government and on the part of Gulf to deal effectively with a major oil
well blowout in the Beaufort Sea during the open water season. Secondly, nothing that the Board has heard enables it to make any sensible recommendation dealing substantively with Gulf's potential liability in the event of a worst case blowout, one of the obligations mandatorily imposed on the Board by the IFA. That such a situation exists after years of drilling in the Beaufort Sea is a sad reflection of a complacency which seems to have developed on the part of Gulf and the government authorities, driven by an ultimate belief that a blowout is so unlikely to occur that preparing to meet it is largely an academic exercise. That complacency has led to a failure to amass information, a failure to develop essential planning, and a failure to test, in realistic conditions, equipment and responses. All of these would be necessary and vital, if a major blowout did occur, in order to lessen the environmental impacts. ...