PetroWorth Resources has received approval to drill an exploratory well in search of oil in the Lake Ainslie area, home of the province’s first onshore well in 1869. “We have carefully reviewed the application and we believe we can have environmental protection and economic development at the same time,” said Energy Minister Charlie Parker. “We know Nova Scotians want assurances that oil and gas activity will not harm our province. We have confidence in our regulations and ability to regulate this industry and protect the environment.” PetroWorth applied in September 2010 for approval to drill an onshore oil exploration well in the west Lake Ainslie area. The application required separate approvals from the departments of Environment and Energy. The Department of Energy approved the company’s application for an authority to drill. This permits the company to drill a vertical exploration well between 1,200 and 1,500 metres in depth. It does not include hydraulic fracturing. The approval is consistent with government’s energy strategy to extract oil and gas in the province and not rely on other markets. Nova Scotia has the potential to replace coal with cleaner energy sources, which includes natural gas, and to grow the economy by selling oil and gas to other markets. “As a province, we need to examine and pursue all possible economic development opportunities available to employ Nova Scotians and keep our residents here,” said Mr. Parker. “We will ensure the environment is protected as we capitalize on our natural resources for a cleaner source of fuel to balance the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources, like wind and tidal, and to create jobs.” The Department of Environment approved PetroWorth’s industrial approval application on July 29, that addresses process waste management, sound limits and air quality levels. “Applications for drilling must demonstrate measures to protect drinking water and the environment,” said Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau. “PetroWorth will be required to conduct water sampling prior to and following drilling the exploratory well. Construction of the well itself will be done in a way that ensures protection of groundwater.” Government is currently conducting a technical and policy review of environmental impacts associated with hydraulic fracturing. No hydraulic fracturing is occurring in the province and no applications for its use are expected before the review is complete. For more information on the review visit www.gov.ns.ca/nse/pollutionprevention/consultation.hydraulic.fracturing.asp .
Following its acquisition of a significant stake in Inkonova AB, which was one of the few companies worldwide developing underground mine drone technology, Japan’s Terra Drone Corporation has now established a new branch in South Africa specialising in drone solutions for underground and surface mining. “Terra Drone is a leading global commercial drone technology company focused on providing cutting-edge, smart-mining solutions, which improve safety, reduce down-time, reduce costs, and increase the quality of data so better business decisions can be made. Finally, Terra Drone aims at further development of drone technology throughout the South African industry.” “South Africa, which was once one of the world’s largest gold producers, has recently been sluggish and fell to the world’s 8th largest gold producer due to reduced mining output and the notable rise of production in other countries. Furthermore, the necessity to improve safety protocols is evident as frequent collapses and deadly accidents continue to occur in mining operations. In order to solve these problems, Terra Drone’s South Africa branch will provide a total smart-mining solution using our industry leading drone and software technology providing one of the world’s first underground drone solutions.”With regard to the utilisation of underground drones, it is generally very difficult to adapt to the dark and narrow environments due to the confined space and lack of GPS signals that drones typically use to navigate. In addition, the mines are often times very difficult to access and may be dangerous for humans to enter at all. “Until recently, available drone technology was limited because of these factors, however, Terra Drone has already started offering unique underground drone solutions with the use of innovative and ground-breaking technologies developed by one of our group companies, Inkonova AB.”“Our new headquarters can contribute to solving problems through the creation of new employment in South Africa, reduction of human injury due to the improvement of safety, and cost-effective solutions by increasing data accuracy and speed of data collection and delivery. Additionally, we are aiming to deploy not only to the Republic of South Africa but also throughout the whole of Africa, which has a population of over 1.2 billion people. We are planning to release safe and high-quality technologies from Africa to the rest of the world,” said Toru Tokushsige Founder and CEO of Terra Drone.