In a news conference held on May 26, 2020, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball and industry leaders united in emphasizing the importance of Canada’s offshore industry, and the need to support it through these challenging times.
“This is an unprecedented time for the people of our province, the country and the world. COVID-19 is having a dramatic effect on our offshore oil and gas industry – an industry that has an immensely positive impact on the families and businesses of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Premier Ball.
“With our oil and gas industry representing such a significant portion of the provincial economy, the time is now to act and put measures in place so we can continue to deliver vital health, education and social services to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”
In his remarks, Premier Ball also noted that the current downturn in the offshore industry could result in a loss of $61 billion to Newfoundland and Labrador’s GDP by 2038.
The premier stated that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has asked the Government of Canada to invest in the offshore oil and gas industry. Offshore resources are co-managed by the federal and provincial governments.
The premier was joined by Minister of Natural Resources, along with representatives from Noia, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Memorial University, Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association and TradesNL.
They noted the importance of the offshore oil and natural gas industry to the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador cannot be overstated nor replaced by any other sector. The economic benefits related to the offshore industry accounted for nearly 30 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2010 and 2017.
“Our industry is facing some of the biggest challenges we have ever experienced,” said Terry Abel
Executive Vice President, Canada Operations and Climate, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
“There is a critical and urgent need for the Federal Government to invest in our offshore oil and gas sector to help overcome these challenges and to position the province for success. With the right supports and policies, we have an opportunity to make Newfoundland and Labrador a place where companies want to do business as they revisit their capital plans worldwide and make crucial investment decisions that could benefit the province for decades.”
Premier Ball also highlighted that the Newfoundland and Labrador government shares the federal government’s goals of environmental protection and reducing carbon emissions, including for the oil and gas sector, and has committed to achieving net zero by 2050.
All four offshore Newfoundland and Labrador projects are among some of the lowest carbon intensity emitting oilfields in the world.