Sea horse trading?

Last week, we exclusively reported offshore oil and gas development was on the table when Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Rich Neufeld met with Exxon Mobil Corp. executives in Texas. Those executives asked about the status of that development and offered help the provincial government lift the federal moratorium on offshore drilling and exploration. But here's what's odd about that discussion: Exxon Mobil is one of the smallest offshore petroleum leaseholders in British Columbia. Companies such as Shell Canada Inc., Petro-Canada Inc. and Chevron Corp. have a bigger stake in that resource. So why would Exxon Mobil be making such an offer?


Shell holds most of the existing leases.

If the moratorium is lifted, there are large areas that could have oil leases that do not have any at the moment. There has been a huge change in teh technology of offshore drilling in the last generation. Areas that would have been considered impossible are now being drilled.

If the moratorium is lifted, there will be a whole new raft of leases further out off of the west coast.

And what, precisely, was Exxon VP William Drennan referring to when he, according to the report prepared by Mr. Neufeld's eight member posse, said that he:

"felt the 2006 dialogue with First Nations and Communities were positive."?


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