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All oil and gas permits in B.C. waters are relinquished, feds say

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson takes part in a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023. The federal government says the final offshore oil and gas permits for Canada's West Coast region have been relinquished. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson takes part in a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023. The federal government says the final offshore oil and gas permits for Canada's West Coast region have been relinquished. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
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The federal government says the final offshore oil and gas permits for Canada's West Coast have been relinquished.

A news release from the office of Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the relinquishment came from Chevron Canada, which has given up its 23 offshore permits along the coast of British Columbia as of Feb. 9.

A spokeswoman from Wilkinson's office says that represents the last of the 227 offshore oil and gas permits for British Columbia's coastal waters.

The release says giving up the oil and gas permits in Pacific waters fulfils a condition in the federal government's commitment to an Indigenous-led conservation initiative that received a pledge of $800 million in support from Ottawa two years ago.

In April 2023, Chevron Canada said it was voluntarily relinquishing 19 offshore oil and gas permits within protected wildlife areas on B.C.'s West Coast.

The permitting area given up by Chevron at that time was estimated at 5,700 square kilometres and overlapped parts of federal marine protection areas off B.C.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2024.

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