Canadian government delays call for exploration bids offshore Newfoundland and Labrador
(World Oil) — The Canadian government delayed bids for oil exploration off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador by up to 90 days, leading industry groups to warn that continuous regulatory delays could turn away investors.
Federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson requested the delay, CBC News reported, adding it is the second delay for the province’s oil and gas industry this month.
“Energy NL is concerned with another delay in the regulatory process associated with the offshore oil and gas industry, specifically the offshore call for bids,” said Charlene Johnson, CEO of Energy NL, which was formerly known as the Newfoundland & Labrador Oil & Gas Industries Association or Noia.
The organization is seeking the government’s clarification on why this delay occurred and the timeline for the process to resume, Johnson said.
“We are pleased to see that Minister Andrew Parsons has approved the bid round and expects it to proceed,” Johnson said. “Offshore exploration is the foundation of our industry and we request the Government of Canada to expeditiously complete their review.”
This delay comes weeks after Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault called for an additional 40 days to make a decision on the future of the proposed Bay du Nord oil project 500 kilometers (310 miles) east of St. John's, CBC reported.