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LETTER: A response to Marvin Barnes: the Role of the C-NLOPB

The Hebron platform on Newfoundland and Labrador offshore is an example of how digitalization is disrupting how the offshore oil and gas sector conducts and manages operations.
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As CEO of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB), I feel compelled to refute Marvin Barnes’ negative assertions about our organization, published in a letter in the May 11 edition of The Telegram.

His perspective in no way reflects the reality of the C-NLOPB.

Our environmental affairs department is highly trained and experienced, expertly led, competently staffed and well-resourced. They are strongly supported by our chief conservation officer as well as numerous other safety, legal, engineering and public policy professionals, all of whom are nothing short of international leaders in their respective fields of regulatory expertise.

Those staff members work closely with subject-matter experts at Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other federal and provincial agencies, as well as their international counterparts.

Our regulatory oversight is informed by best applicable practices from around the world, and is commensurate with our legislative and regulatory powers.

When required in matters of compliance and enforcement, we again work with other federal and provincial government agencies.

Barnes unfortunately appears to have bought into the falsehood that our responsibilities for administration of land tenure and regulatory oversight of local industrial benefits create an untenable situation, with his imagining a role for us as a champion or promoter of offshore development.

This is as wrong as his invocation of “the old boy’s network” and his inference that the expertise to effectively regulate the offshore is unavailable within our province.

Safety and environmental protection are paramount in all board decisions, and our regulatory oversight is world-class.

It’s long past time to discard inaccurate and tired notions like those written by Barnes.

Scott Tessier,
CEO, Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board,
St. John’s


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