05/21/2015 12:39 EDT | Updated 05/21/2016 05:59 EDT

Anticosti oil, gas drilling proposals pitched to residents

There could be up to 6,500 wells dug on Quebec's Anticosti Island by the end of this century, according to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand.

Arcand announced Thursday two possible scenarios for oil and gas drilling on Anticosti, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The scenarios were submitted to the island's population at a public consultation.

The first would see up to 6,500 wells during a 75-year production period. The second would have 3,900 wells over a period of 56 years.

In both scenarios, production would begin in 2020.

"What I've seen from the report, there are protected territories, there are locations on the island where we cannot drill," Arcand said Thursday.

Anticosti is about one and a half times the size of Prince Edward Island, but is home to fewer than 250 people, most of whom reside in the west coast village of Port-Menier.