The Hebron Platform, anchored in Trinity Bay, N.L., is shown on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Cash-strapped Newfoundland and Labrador has announced a 12-year plan to speed and enhance development of its offshore oil and gas resources. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly

N.L. unveils plan for faster, cheaper offshore oil and gas development

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Cash-strapped Newfoundland and Labrador has launched a 12-year plan to speed and increase offshore oil and gas development while drawing coveted global investment.

The province will review regulations, enhance seismic data and advance cost-saving tie-back technology to extract more from existing sites. Its goal is to double overall production to more than 650,000 barrels a day by 2030.

Premier Dwight Ball called it an ambitious but realistic plan as his province grapples with mounting debt and successive deficits. Offshore oil earnings once accounted for about one-third of revenues but collapsing prices starting in 2014 blew a major hole in provincial finances.

“We can wait no longer,” Ball told a news conference Monday in St. John’s. “We are at a critical point. The time for action is now.”

The province also wants to enhance subsea and seismic technology to develop what it estimates is an offshore oil potential of at least 37 billion barrels.

And it wants to kick-start commercial production of largely untapped natural gas reserves by 2030 as it counts on growing global demand.

Four major oil sites now operate off Newfoundland.

The plan also sets targets of 100 new exploration wells, a shortened timeline of about 10 years from discovery to oil production, and integrating oil and gas with renewable sources to create a “world-class energy cluster.”

Carman Mullins, president of ExxonMobil Canada, said Monday the industry has transformed since the price crash. Still, the plan sets a course to keep Newfoundland and Labrador on the corporate radar for big-ticket investment, she added.

“Every opportunity needs to be competitive on a global scale,” she told reporters. “Having regulations that provide clarity, as well as are efficient and effective, are key. We need to develop the resources as well as protecting the environment.

“We’re looking at how can you do things more efficiently? How can you leverage technology? How can you be creative and innovative and bring new research together?”

Just Posted

Updated: Westlake home damaged in Tuesday afternoon fire

Woman and her cat escaped injury when fire hit home

Ponoka council to discuss labour contract

Town workers can serve 72-hour strike notice

Policy analyst to run for Alberta Liberals in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake byelection

Nick Jansen says health and education should be preserved

Sharing the road during motorcycle season

Being visible to other drivers is important

VIDEO: What separation from parents does to children: ‘The effect is catastrophic’

This is what happens inside children when they are forcibly separated from… Continue reading

Ten Humboldt Broncos bus crash survivors meet in Las Vegas for NHL awards

HUMBOLDT, Sask. — Ten of the 13 survivors from the Humboldt Broncos… Continue reading

Triathletes young and old prepare for weekend event in Red Deer

Woody’s Triathlon goes Saturday and Sunday

Driver knocks over metal barricade, rolls several times in crash near Olds

A man is in hospital after his SUV trashed into the QEII… Continue reading

In tit-for-tat, Trump threatens more tariffs against China

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has directed the U.S. Trade Representative to… Continue reading

Commons Speaker says no to Tory calls for emergency debate on Canada-U.S. trade

OTTAWA — The official Opposition is calling for an emergency debate in… Continue reading

Accused homeowner to testify in own defence in Hamilton murder trial

HAMILTON — A Hamilton-area homeowner accused of gunning down a suspected truck… Continue reading

Opioid death toll nearly 4,000 last year, new data shows

OTTAWA — New government figures show that nearly 4,000 Canadians died from… Continue reading

Smoking hits new low; about 14 per cent of US adults light up

NEW YORK — Smoking in the U.S. has hit another all-time low.… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month