ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND – Canadians have sent more than 2,000 letters of support asking the federal government to invest in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil and natural gas industry. The letters from supporters of the offshore were directed to Members of Parliament as well as Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson and Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna. Supporters are calling on government to implement changes to the tax regime to support offshore development and exploration so that the industry can be globally competitive and people can get back to work.
The letters are from individuals who know how important the offshore oil and natural gas industry is to the economic success of the region. More than 6,500 people directly rely on the offshore to support their families and pay their bills. That number is thousands more when you include those employed by more than 500 supply and service companies which provide goods and services to the sector. Without an immediate federal investment to support the offshore oil and natural gas industry, all of this is at risk.
The industry is up against tremendous challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting drop in demand for oil and natural gas. This is occurring at a time when the offshore has a critical role to play in the global and domestic market. As markets begin to recover and life returns to normal the world will require more energy and demand will rebound. Global demand for oil and natural gas is expected to grow for decades and as other offshore jurisdictions, including Norway, move to change their tax regimes to attract investment, Newfoundland and Labrador must keep pace or investment will flow to other jurisdictions.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore industry, with its continued commitment to safety and environmental performance, can supply responsibly produced energy to the world while continuing to bring significant benefits to Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada. Newfoundland and Labrador’s light sweet crude oil is considerably below the global oil production average for GHG emissions at extraction.
Support for exploration and new developments will help Atlantic Canada continue to grow as a leader in ocean innovation and lead to the development and adoption of new technologies that will benefit all ocean industries. The federal government’s actions now can help ensure the offshore industry is in a strong position to compete for investment dollars, enable new projects and jobs in the region, help to restart deferred projects, and continue to contribute to global emissions reduction efforts.
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