In opening the NOIA conference in St. John's this morning, Premier Kathy Dunderdale raised the ongoing dispute over how much of the Hebron platform can be built in the province.
Echoing statements made recently, when Hebron was given final approvals, the Premier said the province is expecting the so-called Derrick Equipment Set module to be built at Bull Arm. The Hebron partners, led by ExxonMobil Canada have stated that work could not be completed here- that Bull Arm was already full-up with work on other Hebron modules.
The Premier told reporters following her speech that both sides continue to discuss the issue, but the province has engaged an international consulting out of the United Kingdom- one who has evaluated what work can be done here and who has come out in support of the provincial government's stance.
The consultant's name and the company name were not available, but are to be provided later today, according to the Premier.
"There are penalties under the contract," Dunderdale said when asked about a resolution to the dispute. "We would rather not apply- go to a process where penalties are applied. We would rather have the work for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians."
The conference, meanwhile, moved on to updates on local projects from major companies, including ExxonMobil. The event continues through Thursday.
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Premier Kathy Dunderdale spoke to the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association (NOIA) 2012 Conference in St. John’s this morning praising local companies fro being leaders in offshore exploration and development, in supply and services, in marine research and technology, and in other capacities.
“Newfoundland and Labrador has provided all of you with the toughest of challenges, bar none — and you, in turn, have risen to meet those challenges head on and earned — by your own hard work and ingenuity — the undeniable right to stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the industry,” Dunderdale stated in her speech.
“The success of this province’s oil and gas industry — your success — has also contributed immensely to the expansion and diversification of industry generally in our province and to the economic resurgence that has changed the face of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
The premier noted the industry is not only providing direct employment for more than 3,000 people, but fueling indirect jobs for thousands more. It is supporting over 500 supply and service firms directly, and drawing enormous sums of investment dollars that are fueling other enterprises and R&D.
She said approximately one third of provincial revenue is derived directly from our petroleum sector.
More coverage later and in Wednesday’s print edition.