Offshore oil and gas scientific research authorizations
Scientific research on oil and gas response and clean-up methods may be permitted in designated offshore oil and gas areas in Canada. This is to ensure that responders have the best possible information about what response measures should be used to minimize the impacts of a spill.
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change may authorize in-field research projects related to environmental emergencies through legislation governing oil and gas activities in the offshore areas.
Legislation with scientific research provisions:
- Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act (COGOA)
- Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act
- Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act
Project proponents must submit their research proposals to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) for evaluation as part of the authorization process. Experts at ECCC and other federal departments review the submitted projects to ensure that the work proposed:
- poses a low overall risk to the environment
- incorporates suitable and effective mitigation measures
- has a high degree of scientific merit, or value, to justify the potential risks
- has been reviewed, through consultation and engagement, by potentially-impacted stakeholders and Indigenous groups and that their feedback has been considered.
If a project is authorized, the Minister may attach conditions to ensure that the project, when implemented, meets these high standards of science merit and environmental protection. The proponent would still need to comply with other relevant legislative and regulatory requirements that are not affected by the authorization, and they may need to obtain additional permits and permissions for their project.
Multi-Partner Research Initiative Offshore Burn Experiment
The Multi-Partner Research Initiative Offshore Burn Experiment project builds on previous in-situ burn research. It will measure the effectiveness of in-situ burning as a spill response technique. The project involves a controlled release of a limited amount of oil into the offshore environment, followed by tests and measurements conducted while burning off the oil from the surface of the water.
Multi-Partner Research Initiative Dispersant Field Trials
The Dispersant Field Trials project will involve the controlled release of a limited amount of oil and dispersant into the offshore environment followed by tests and measurements that will provide information on the use and effectiveness of the dispersant as a spill response technique.
For more information on the application process, please contact ECCC’s Environmental Emergencies Division: email@example.com
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