Province Updates Oil Sands Exploration Guidelines

Monday, May 07, 2007 at 13:44



The provincial government is hoping to encourage more oilsands exploration in Saskatchewan with a change in regulations.


The rules governing oilsands exploration haven’t changed in 40 years.


Even though oil sands were first discovered in Saskatchewan in an area north of the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range in the 1970s, there has been limited interest until the last few years.


Calgary-based Oilsands Quest has been drilling in the area north of the Clearwater River, and has been reporting encouraging results.


Minister responsible Eric Cline says the government is optimistic about Saskatchewan’s oil sands potential.


Cline says the new regulations are similar to Alberta’s, but are tailor-made to fit Saskatchewan — and represent a “careful yet moderate approach”.


Industry and Resources geologist Ed Dancsok says this is the case mainly because there are still a lot of unknowns about Saskatchewan’s oil sands.


Dancsok says the new Saskatchewan regulations are also more sensitive to issues surrounding the government’s duty to consult First Nations impacted by oilsands exploration.