BP, Shell team up to explore N.S. offshore
November 16, 2012 - 11:34am BY JOANN ALBERSTAT BUSINESS REPORTER
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BP PLC's CEO Bob Dudley speaks at the company’s headquarters in London on Feb. 1, 2011. BP has successfully bid $1.04 billion for exploration rights off Nova Scotia. The company was fined billions of dollars and two employees charged with manslaughter this week in connection with the 2010 the Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 offshore workers in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP)
A pair of oil industry giants plan to spend $1.08 billion exploring Nova Scotia’s offshore in the coming years.
BP has successfully bid $1.04 billion for exploration rights on four parcels, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board announced Friday. Shell has claimed another four leases by agreeing to ante up $31.8 million, the industry regulator said.
“These represent the largest total bid amounts in response to a call for bids in Nova Scotia’s offshore area and for Atlantic Canada,” board executive director Stuart Pinks said in a news release.
The exploration licences still require federal and provincial government approval. In the meantime, the regulator said it plans to issue the paperwork effective Jan. 15.
The amounts indicate how much the companies plan to spend looking for oil or gas off the province’s coast over the next six years.
The companies are required to pay 25 per cent of the money up front.
The licences are valid for nine years, provided that the companies begin exploratory drilling within six years.
Shell’s bid indicates the Dutch-based company plans to expand an existing oil exploration plan announced earlier this year.
Shell Canada Ltd. is already embarking on a $970-million program involving four other deepwater blocks off the continental shelf, roughly 250 kilometres south-southwest of Halifax.
The board put the latest 11 parcels on the block in the spring. The regulator received no offers on three of the sites.