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LETTER: An action plan for Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore

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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When it comes to offshore oil and natural gas activity, Canada has high standards for environment, health and safety, and among the most stringent regulatory regimes in the world.

However, incidents in 2018 and 2019 have prompted the industry to take a hard look at overall performance and to find opportunities for improvement.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), and its member companies operating offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, are disappointed in our industry’s safety and environmental performance the past couple of years, and we must do better. The safety of our workforce is our biggest priority and we are committed to safe, responsible and reliable operations.

Over the course of the past year, members of CAPP’s policy group, comprising senior leaders of the oil and gas companies working offshore N.L. and N.S., have held meetings, planning sessions and workshops with regulators, governments, and other stakeholders who share our desire to continue to raise the bar on environment, health and safety performance in the offshore region.

As a result, we have released “Collaborating for Safety and Sustainability: A Continuous Plan” our vision for safe, responsible and reliable operations offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. Collectively, we have committed to making changes to enhance our performance.

The report contains 13 initial areas of focus, including near- and long-term objectives to increase understanding and information sharing, and enhance performance.

We fully expect the plan to evolve and change as CAPP continues to engage with others that share our goals of strengthening environment and safety in the province’s offshore region.

Among the 13 objectives outlined in “Collaborating for Safety and Sustainability,” we are committed to sharing lessons learned among industry; collaborating to identify opportunities for alignment and improvement; enhance training, learning, and information sharing; enhance communications with the fishing industry and other stakeholders; and, evaluate spill response capability to identify areas for improvement.

We recognize there is always room for improvement, particularly in how we collaborate as an industry, and are committed to achieving our vision of making this region the safest and most environmentally responsible offshore oil and natural gas operating jurisdiction in the world.

We are confident we have all the right elements in place — the people, tools, leadership, ability, and commitment to operate safely and responsibly. We are on a journey of continuous improvement and we will keep working together to elevate our performance.

Paul Barnes,
director of Atlantic Canada and Arctic, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
St. John’s

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