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Shell mum on details of planned seismic surveys

Shell mum on details of planned seismic surveys

Shell says it plans to begin 3-D seismic surveys in Nova Scotia’s offshore next April.

The global energy giant includes the time frame in an expression of interest issued last week for an environmental consultant to work on the company’s nearly $1-billion exploration project here.

But the Calgary company wouldn’t elaborate Tuesday on its exploration plan, filed with the regulator May 17, beyond previous public statements.

“Shell has filed a high-level plan for the next three years for offshore Nova Scotia in which we would like to conduct seismic acquisition activities in 2013,” a Shell Canada spokesman said in an email.

“Subject to regulatory approvals, we hope this will lead to exploratory drilling sometime in 2014 or 2015.”

This coming Friday was the deadline for making the regulatory filing, which is confidential and won’t be made public, said a Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board spokeswoman.

Shell paid a record $970 million earlier this year for exploration rights to four deepwater blocks about 350 kilometres south of Halifax.

The licences are in place for nine years and Shell is required to provide annual updates on its exploration activity.

According to the expression of interest, Shell is seeking a consultant to work on an environmental assessment that must be completed before the board will allow seismic work to begin.

“Shell is committed to ensuring that full and fair opportunities are provided for Nova Scotian and Canadian companies through employment, procurement and contracting,” said the expression of interest.

The deadline for applying is June 1.

The tender is expected to be awarded in the second or third quarter of this year.

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