Canada oil spill program hit by cheap crude, lacks applicants

By Ethan Lou

The two-year oil price crash has hurt a Canadian government program that funds research on oil spill cleanups, resulting in fewer applicants than expected, a senior federal official said.As a result, the government will expand the scope of its Oil Spill Response Science Program and open a second call for applications this month, Marc Wickham, Natural Resources Canada’s director of energy science and technology programs, said in an interview late last week.The program funds research that improves cleanup methods for marine oil spills. Those eligible include production, pipeline and shipping companies in the energy sector.Wickham spoke with Reuters after it obtained details of the program’s amendment through an access-to-information request.Potential spills have been a concern for opponents of proposed Canadian pipelines that transport crude to coastal facilities.Pipelines grant Canada’s largely landlocked energy sector better access to international markets. But more exports would …
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