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2019 Resource assessment indicates more oil, gas reserves offshore N.L.

Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady speaks to reporters Tuesday at the budget lockup for media.
Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady released the 2019 oil and gas resource assessment results Thursday which identify an additional three billion barrels of oil and 5.8 trillion cubic feet of gas potential offshore Newfoundland. - File photo

Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady released the 2019 oil and gas resource assessment results Thursday which identify an additional three billion barrels of oil and 5.8 trillion cubic feet of gas potential offshore Newfoundland.

According to a news release, in total there is a combined resource potential of 52.2 billion barrels of oil and 199.6 trillion cubic feet of gas in just nine per cent of the province’s offshore. The assessment was conducted by Beicip-Franlab, a leading independent company in doing resource assessments globally.

“The purpose of embarking on this annual independent resource assessment is to broaden our understanding of the underexplored frontier basins and add to our geotechnical knowledge of the area,” Coady said.

“The resource potential in our offshore is incredible. We have over 650 leads and prospects identified to date, eight new entrants in the past three years, and $4 billion in recent exploration work commitments.

“We will continue to position the province as an internationally preferred location for oil and gas exploration and development – one that values safety and environmental responsibility and maximizes benefits to the people of the province.”

The release states the provincial government is taking a systematic, scientific approach to understanding the province’s oil and gas resource potential. By leading the collection of new data in the early stages of the exploration cycle and providing extensive information about the offshore oil and gas resource potential, new areas for industry exploration and future resource development opportunities are being opened offshore.

Jean Burrus, CEO of Beicip-Franlab, said the company carried out detailed interpretations of past and new data, well and seismic, in the Carson-Bonnition-Salar basins.

“The data integration approach applied was designed to rigorously assess uncertainty and risk, which allowed the generation of various probable alternative resource evaluation scenarios, confirming significant hydrocarbon potential in the area,” Burrus said.

The news release states the oil and gas industry plays an important role in the growth and development of Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy. Since 1997, the oil and gas industry has accounted for approximately 25 per cent of cumulative provincial GDP and as of June 2019 over 8,900 people were directly employed in construction and operations.

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