Cairn Energy is to begin drilling in Baffin Bay after being given the green light for tests from Greenland’s government. According to KNR, company ships, the Nordic and Vidar Viking, have already arrived on the scene and drilling is scheduled to start shortly.
Meanwhile, the government unveiled a new oil spill response plan, documenting how equipment and vessels prepared to tackle a spill will be stationed in southern England and Aasiaat. Local resident Peter Moller told KNR, “It’s perfectly fine that they conduct exploration drilling. But I think much of the Gulf of Mexico, because if oil is found, the risk of spills big.”
Kristoffer Petersen added, “We need money everywhere. It is said that there are huge deposits of oil, and we can all benefit from that. But we also hear about the high pollution abroad, which you cannot avoid, no matter how well you are prepared. But I know the authorities in this country are well prepared if an accident should occur.”
Cairn Energy will be drilling 300-500 metres into the seabed west of Disko Bay in an attempt to reach oil fields up to four kilometres below the surface. This compares to BP, who drilled up to 1,500 metres in Mexico for a target six kilometres underground.
The government in Greenland has said the depth of the company’s test drilling is of industry standard and that each hole must be fitted with remote-controlled closing valves. The activities will take place on two rigs while 11 ships will circulate the area on emergency call-out in the event of a spill.
The test drilling must also stop two months before the sea ice reaches Baffin Bay. There is an estimated 17 billion barrels of oil and gas in the area and as much as 50 billion barrels in Greenland as a whole.