Canada invites Arctic exploration bids

May 13, 1999 02:00 AM

The Canadian government is trying to shake off a decade-long hiatus in Arctic exploration interest.
It has invited bids on four federal land parcels totalling 1.79 mm acres in the Mackenzie Delta - the 11th successive year it has attempted to attract a response to an area covering 250 mm acres in the Delta, Beaufort Sea and western Arctic islands.
There has been no documented response since 1991 after almost 20 years of sustained exploration, much of it financed by federal loans and subsidies, in a region believed to contain 5.8 bn barrels of oil and 60 tcf of natural gas.
Although the 53 discoveries in the Beaufort-Mackenzie basin are estimated at 1.01 bn barrels and 9 tcf of gas, they have never reached the levels of commercial viability.
Through the 1990s, the major Arctic players - Shell Canada, Imperial Oil, Gulf Canada Resources, Amoco Canada and Chevron Canada - have gradually closed down their operations and moved on to other plays in the Alberta oil sands and East Coast offshore.
But the federal government has pressed ahead with its annual call for nominations.
It said the parcels in the latest offering are "strategically placed for future offshore oil and gas development in the Beaufort Sea."
Any licences issued will be based on the value of work commitments and extend to September 2008.

Source: IINX via Iinoil
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