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Gulf of St. Lawrence Drilling Could Put Atlantic Canada Coastlines at Risk

Atlantic Canada coastlines could be at risk if Canada permits oil and gas drilling in the Old Harry reservoir in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, according to an investigative report by the Radio-Canada science magazine Découverte. [Radio-Canada is CBC’s French-language network.]

Although a 2012 consulting study commissioned by project proponent Corridor Resources predicted minimal impacts if oil spilled in the Gulf, a research team led by physical oceanographer Dany Dumont found methodological problems in the report. Memorial University professor Len Zedel told Découverte the assumptions in the original study were “dangerous, in the sense that if the oil is heavier than expected, [and] you had more escape than you would like, it’s going to end up on the shorelines all around Newfoundland, potentially Quebec, P.E.I., New Brunswick, Nova Scotia—they’re all potentially exposed to that risk.”

The Old Harry reservoir may contain up to two billion barrels of recoverable oil and 5,000 billion cubic feet of natural gas, Walsh reports.