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Shell Suspends Klappan Drilling

Shell Suspends Klappan Drilling

Wed, 2008-08-13 13:26.

Shell Canada has suspended plans for exploratory drilling for coalbed methane in the Klappan region of the Northwest for the rest of 2008.

Shannon McPhail of the Skeena Watershed Coalition says her group received the news in an email last week.

And she credits wide-spread public opposition for the move.

“They basically have said that there is a lot of concern.” said McPhail. “People are very passionate about this issue and they realize that it is a problem for them and they’re going to try to do their best to alleviate those concerns.”

Shell spokesperson Larry Lalonde says the company will spend more time talking with the newly-elected Tahltan Central Council and the Tahltan and Iskut band councils.

Lalonde says the Iskut and Tahltan councils told Shell that in order for an open dialogue to occur, the company should pause its drilling.

However, McPhail says regardless of whether Shell conducts more “consultations” with the public, the risks of drilling for coalbed methane at the headwaters of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers is too great and her group’s opposition will continue.

Lalonde says Shell will continue with environmental studies this year and its plans for 2009 have not been determined yet.

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