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Newfoundland and Labrador releases 2020 offshore resource assessment

Industry, Energy, and Technology Minister Andrew Parsons
Industry, Energy, and Technology Minister Andrew Parsons - Contributed

The provincial government Tuesday released the 2020 oil and gas resource assessment results which identify an additional 11.1 billion barrels of oil and 24.5 trillion cubic feet of gas potential in offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

The news release states that, in total, there is a combined resource potential of 63.6 billion barrels of oil and 224.1 trillion cubic feet of gas in just 10 per cent of the province’s offshore.

The assessment was led by the Oil and Gas Corp. of Newfoundland and Labrador and conducted by Beicip-Franlab, a leading independent company in doing resource assessments globally, in advance of the call for bids on Nov. 4.

“The magnitude of Newfoundland and Labrador’s resource potential continues to grow exponentially,” said Andrew Parsons, the province’s minister of Industry, Energy and Technology.

“Our offshore projects are already among some of the lowest carbon intensity emitting facilities in the world. The global outlook for energy is changing and a greening of fossil fuels is anticipated. We are committed to a strong and vibrant offshore oil and gas industry to help ensure some of the lowest emission production can continue to be part of the global energy mix.”

The release also noted that to assist companies in achieving exploration objectives, the province announced last week the establishment of a new offshore exploration initiative to encourage near-term drilling activity and enhance global competitiveness at this critical time.

“For the first time in our offshore, 90 per cent of the licence round is covered with 3D seismic data and the remaining 10 per cent is covered by five-by-five 2D which has provided us with an enhanced level of certainty in these resource numbers,” said Jim Keating, executive vice-president, offshore development.

‘The significant amount of data covering the area and the evolution of information gathering has presented greater imaging and a deeper understanding of the resource density, enabling us to identify over 40 prospects in an area.”

The oil and gas industry plays an important role in the growth and development of Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy. From 2010 -17, total (direct, indirect and induced) economic benefits related to the offshore industry in this province accounted for nearly 30 per cent of the province’s GDP, 13 per cent of labour compensation and 10 per cent of all employment.

“Beicip-Franlab has carried out detailed interpretations of past and new data, well and seismic, in the Orphan basin,” Jean Burrus, CEO, Beicip-Franlab, said in the release.

“The data integration allowed the use of leading edge modeling techniques to rigorously assess uncertainty and risk, through equiprobable resources scenarios. Preliminary exploration efforts had not identified accumulations but our new comprehensive analysis of the petroleum system confirms the existence of significant hydrocarbon potential in the area.”

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