Canadian public opinion poll shows strong support for offshore oil and gas projects

June 08, 2021

ST.JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND - Noia recently engaged a public opinion firm to survey Newfoundlanders and Labradorians about their support for the offshore oil and gas industry, and the Terra Nova Project specifically. Not surprisingly to Noia, the vast majority of respondents support the industry and efforts to ensure the Terra Nova Project undergoes the Asset Life Extension project and continues to operate offshore, even if that requires the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador purchasing an equity stake.

When asked if they support offshore oil and gas development in Newfoundland and Labrador 83% of respondents indicated they either completely or mostly support the industry. When it came to the Terra Nova Project, 88% agreed that it has a significant impact on the provincial economy and 71% supported the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador purchasing an equity stake to ensure 10 more years of operation through the Asset Life Extension project. Just 15% of respondents opposed an equity stake in this project and 14% did not know.

“The offshore oil and gas industry continues to receive broad support across Newfoundland and Labrador and I believe this can be attributed to the value it provides our province and country in tangible terms of well-paying jobs, royalties and benefits to help pay for public services, and the impact it has upon our communities and the social sector. I was pleased to see that those who responded also support the continuation of the Terra Nova Project, including the province taking an equity stake. This is too important of a project to see end and move to decommissioning, and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador recognize that,” said Charlene Johnson, Noia CEO.

On January 14, 2021, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding had been reached with the project owners. The province also committed up to $175 million on a matching contribution basis and possibly modifying the royalty regime should an agreement be reached. This commitment was based on an agreement for long-term production via the Terra Nova Project. The CEO of Suncor Energy recently stated a decision on the project – to continue with the asset life extension project or move to abandonment – would be made by June 15, 2021.

“For decades now we have seen the benefits the offshore oil and gas industry can provide Newfoundland and Labrador. Clearly, the people of the province support the industry and efforts to enhance its contribution to our province. We need to grow this industry in order to prosper from our natural resources and use them to lead the way in the energy evolution. Now is our time to be leaders,” Johnson said.

The public opinion poll was conducted by MQO Research from June 4 to June 7 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percentage points.

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