Skip to content

Suncor acquisitions in North Sea could have CETA implications

Calgary-based Suncor Energy Inc is reportedly looking at making further acquisitions in the North Sea.

The Globe and Mail reports, “Stung by the oil price crash, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, France’s Total and others have put dozens of assets up for sale in the North Sea, which has been on the wane since the late 1990s. With many companies keen to sell assets in the region, Suncor could find compelling deals, the sources said, adding it could buy in both the U.K. North Sea and Norwegian North Sea. Suncor currently owns 30 per cent of the high-producing Buzzard field in the North Sea, and holds 17 licenses in its Norwegian portfolio.”

The North Sea reportedly already has about 24 drilling rigs and 280 oil and gas installations on it.

In October 2010, the Associated Press reported, “Britain’s Conservative-led government has repeatedly rejected suggestions for a moratorium on deepwater drilling in the North Sea… ‘The government is determined to drive forward our move to a low-carbon economy and develop the U.K.’s renewable energy sources but this cannot happen overnight’, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said in a statement. …Greenpeace and other critics said a moratorium on deep sea drilling was needed, citing a Health and Safety Executive report that showed a spike in accidental leaks and serious injuries to workers on offshore platforms in 2009 and 2010.”

A moratorium is also needed given continued drilling in the North Sea takes us closer to the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit on global warming.

If the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) were to be ratified with its investment protection provision intact, it is conceivable that Canadian-based corporations like Suncor (or US-based corporations with operations in Canada) could challenge the climate-based restrictions that are necessary on oil and gas drilling in the North Sea.

For more on our campaign to stop CETA, please click here.