Shell Canada offshore drilling incident too close for comfort in area near rich fishing grounds

When heaving waters in the North Atlantic wrenched a string of massive steel pipes from a drilling ship off Nova Scotia’s coast, one of the 20-tonne sections of the plummeting coil struck the seabed just 12 metres from the top of an undersea oil exploration well. The distance is one of several details in a Shell Canada accident report received through access to information legislation, prompting critics to say the entire incident was too close for comfort in an area near one of Atlantic Canada’s richest fishing grounds of the Scotian Shelf. A summary report by the regulator issued earlier this year had said a heavier portion of the drilling system fell 22 metres from the wellhead, but didn’t mention the closer distance of pipes that are coiled and criss-crossed through an area of seabed the size of three football fields in length and breadth. Read the story here 12:32