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In Nova Scotia, Shell’s looking for oil, not natural gas

The company's six-year exploration agreement is the largest exploration rights bid in Atlantic Canada.


August 24, 2012
by The Canadian Press

HALIFAX—Shell Canada says it would possibly reconsider its future plans to develop Nova Scotia’s offshore if its $970-million deepwater exploration venture off the province’s southwest coast turned up natural gas instead of oil.

Erik B. Goodwin, Shell’s venture leader for its deepwater Nova Scotia operations, says the company’s goal is to find oil in four deepwater areas about 200 kilometres from the province’s southwestern shore.

He says it would be very difficult for the Calgary-based company to profit from natural gas in Nova Scotia.

The company’s six-year agreement to explore for petroleum is the highest bid for exploration rights in Atlantic Canada.

Goodwin says Shell plans to open a small Halifax office in January and start drilling exploration wells in 2015.

Unlike Newfoundland and Labrador, where a wealth of offshore resources has turned that province’s finances around, Nova Scotia’s petroleum industry is relatively small and has experienced struggles.

©The Canadian Press