February 8, 2017
For Immediate Release

Statoil Exploration Drilling Plan is Encouraging

Paul Davis, Leader of the Official Opposition, says, “Statoil’s plan to drill two new exploration wells in the Flemish Pass Basin is very good news for Newfoundland and Labrador.”

“Their exploratory wells are farther and deeper than the producing fields in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin, making them costlier, so Statoil’s determination to proceed is a sign that they believe this new region will yield results that are worth the investment. For our province, their optimism means new investment and new opportunities at a time when the oil industry is eager for good news,” said Davis.

“Our administration was always optimistic about our long-term energy prospects. That is why we developed the province’s first comprehensive energy plan in 2007 and established a provincial energy corporation to lead us forward to opportunity. While others argued that ‘oil is not a policy’, we saw the benefits of taking a strategic approach to energy development.”

“In fact, Nalcor was modeled on Statoil, the Norwegian energy company that was instrumental in bringing a relatively poor-off European jurisdiction similar to ours to success. By emulating Statoil and working with them and others to drive success, we in this province can build the kind of future that Norway has built – strong, successful and resilient enough to weather tough times. The key is having a long-term growth strategy in the energy sector. Norway has it. We had it. We need to renew it so we can make the most of the opportunities before us and not let them slip away,” he said.

“While this is positive news for our province – the Liberals need to provide some clarity on the status of the generic royalty regime they promised to implement? Our administration announced the generic royalty regime more than a year ago, on November 2, 2015. The current Premier said at the time that that a Liberal government ‘won’t reinvent the wheel from scratch‎’ but if such plans are ‘ready to roll out, then we will implement those plans. We will not be slow’ – but in actual fact, the Liberals have left the industry hanging for more than a year without the clarity the industry needs. The Liberals have been silent on its status. Are they making changes, and if so what are the differences? Are they watering it down?” said Davis.

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Media Contact:
Heather MacLean
Director of Operations and Communications
Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca