Canadian trade group says the offshore industry is still waiting for promised assistance


ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND - A month after Natural Resources Canada Minister Seamus O’Regan said an announcement was coming “very soon,” the offshore oil and gas industry is still waiting for assistance to help it recover from COVID-19 and remain globally competitive. Concerns run deep in the industry for the future of exploration and construction projects in 2020 and beyond and immediate action is required to provide investor confidence in the November Call for Bids for exploration licenses.

“Minister O’Regan was quoted in The Telegram on June 4, 2020 during the announcement of the regional assessment, as saying that help was coming ‘very soon’ for the offshore oil and gas industry. That was a month ago and our industry still faces a crisis that requires assistance from the Government of Canada to help it recover from COVID-19. It is time for ‘very soon’ to become now,” said Charlene Johnson, Noia CEO.

For months, Noia, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and many others have been asking the Government of Canada to provide assistance to the offshore oil and gas industry. There have been numerous meetings, discussions, and exchanges of information. While Noia believes the industry clearly has the support of Minister O’Regan and the Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal Members of Parliament, the federal government has not provided consequential assistance to the industry.

“Minister O’Regan has advocated for and spoken favorably of our industry, its role in the global energy market, and how oil produced offshore Newfoundland and Labrador can help provide a lower carbon product to that market. We ask Minister O’Regan’s cabinet colleagues to support him and our offshore and help the thousands of people who have been impacted by this crisis. We need immediate action to get people back to work, to remain globally competitive, and to retain the investment we have previously attracted to our industry. We need a show of faith in our future and we need it immediately,” said Karen Winsor, Noia Board Chair & COO of Atlantic XL

In numerous interviews and forums held in recent weeks, Minister O’Regan has championed the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore oil and gas industry, the people who work in it, and the product it produces. The commitment of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to achieve net zero by 2050 and the willingness of the offshore oil and gas industry to help achieve that goal have also been lauded by the minister. Noia believes the Government of Canada needs to foster these attributes and support our offshore now.

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