Public Comment Invited on Beaufort Sea Drilling Program

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency invites the public to comment on the comprehensive study report for the proposed Beaufort Sea Exploration Drilling Program in the Northwest Territories.

In accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the National Energy Board (NEB), the lead responsible authority for this project, has undertaken a comprehensive study of the project and has submitted its report to the Minister of the Environment and to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency). In addition to the NEB, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada, and the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development are responsible authorities.

Devon Canada Corporation, the proponent, is proposing to conduct an exploratory drilling program to evaluate potential natural gas reservoirs in the southern Beaufort Sea, north of the Mackenzie River Delta. The exploration drilling would be conducted during the winter, within the landfast ice zone, from one of three potential drilling platform systems: a steel drilling caisson, a landfast tender-assist drill unit or an ice island platform. Devon is currently planning to drill the first well during the winter of 2005-2006 and one well per winter season, completing the program in the winter of 2008- 2009.

Pursuant to subsection 22(1) of the Act, the Agency invites the public to comment on the conclusions, recommendations, and any other aspect of the comprehensive study report prepared for this project.

Public comments must be received by the Agency no later than January 7, 2005. Please forward your comments, in the official language of your choice, to:

Jon Pierce
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
Tel.: (613) 952-8230 Fax: (613) 957-0941

NOTE: All comments received by the Agency will become part of the public registry for the project and will be considered public.

After reviewing the public comments, the Minister of the Environment will determine whether to refer the project back to the lead responsible authority, for appropriate action, or whether it requires further environmental assessment by a review panel or a mediator.
Copies of the comprehensive study report are available for public viewing at the following locations:

Joint Secretariat Office
Inuvialuit Development Corp. Building
Suite 204 - 107 Mackenzie Road
Inuvik NT
Tel.: 867-777-2828

Department of Indian Affairs and
Northern Development
10th floor, Bellanca building
4914 - 50th Street
Yellowknife NT
Tel.: 867-669-2589

National Energy Board
Library Main Floor
444 7th Avenue S.W. Calgary, AB
Tel.: 403-299-3561

The comprehensive study report is available on the National Energy Board web site at : . To obtain further information on the project, please contact:
Mieke Vander Valk
Environmental Specialist
Exploration Production
National Energy Board
Tel.: 403-292-5048

For further information: The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency administers the federal environmental assessment processes, which identify the environmental effects of proposed projects and measures to address those effects, in support of sustainable development. Media may contact: Lucille Jamault, Senior Communications Advisor, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, (613) 957-0434,