Canadian Manufacturing

Newfoundland and Labrador looking to revamp offshore oil and gas licensing rules

Premier says current system driving potential offshore exploration investment away



ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—Newfoundland and Labrador is working with provincial and federal regulators to revamp licensing rules for offshore oil exploration.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale says an outdated land tenure system often forces companies to decide on offshore bids within seven months.

She says that puts new players at a disadvantage with little time to review seismic data and other details.

Dunderdale says the current system is driving potential offshore exploration investment away.

She hopes to have new rules in place to allow for an expanded land tenure bidding process within two years.

Dunderdale made the comments as she opened the annual conference of the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association.

The province relies on oil earnings for about one-third of its provincial budget.

Production is waning, however, and Dunderdale is heading to China later today in an effort to drum up new offshore investment.

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