The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs and Northern Development posted over a million hectares of land for sale in the Beaufort Sea, Mackenzie Delta, and Central Mackenzie Valley. The posted land, which roughly follows the route of the Mackenzie Valley pipeline that recently received National Energy Board approval, will be sold in a sealed bid process, detailing work commitments that will fund future exploration and drilling. Speculation suggests that the interest in this land is a positive sign that bodes well for the future of the Mackenzie pipeline project.
The National Energy Board initiated a review of the safety and environmental requirements for offshore drilling in the Arctic, the results of which will be used to inform its decisions on future offshore drilling applications in the region. The NEB intends to prepare a report on safety and environmental protection requirements for offshore drilling in the Canadian Arctic. American regulatory agencies are in the process of conducting a similar review of offshore drilling in Alaska. Speculation suggests both Canada and the U.S. will put together a regulatory regime in the next 24 months, and that regulations between Canadian and American Arctic waters could be uniform.