by Tina Olivero

    OFFSHORE NEWFOUNDLAND: What’s The Next Globalization Move?

    They have the same geology, ocean conditions, oil opportunity, aquaculture potential, tourism appeal, and the list goes on and on and on. If there were ever two places on earth that could work in collaboration with unprecedented strength, it is Newfoundland and Norway.

    In a globalizing world, isn’t it time we started thinking that way. Imagine our most significant companies all at the table working in collaboration. It would lead to unprecedented collective intelligence. The kind of experience that could be the key to Newfoundland being a global leader in energy, aquaculture, tourism, and more.

    There is a massive economic crisis looming for Newfoundland. Don’t fool yourself into thinking there is not. We could lose it all right now because of global dynamics and low oil prices. The province of Newfoundland’s offshore oil industry needs a new vision. And we need it right now.

    The Advance 2030 plan, as the way forward, is simply not going to cut it given the odds against us. We need an entirely new about-face, rewrite on that plan. We must have a drilling plan that includes collaboration with global leaders at the highest levels. We need partnerships that are a win-win for all. We must create a drilling environment that is as attractive as that of the North Sea OR BETTER!

    Who’s the best partner for Newfoundland’s offshore? The Norwegians. They would also be incredible partners for our fishery and aquaculture.

    Norway would benefit from being partners with Newfoundland. It would provide them with a sustainable future and global variance.

    Newfoundland would benefit from a partnership with Norway as it would provide the opportunity to be majority stakeholders in our projects and therefore reap the rewards that we should have been getting all along. It would also mean unprecedented drilling, growth, and massive economic gain.

    As is stands, Norway has the world’s largest Trust fund in the world at over a $Trillion. They have investment power, and so should Newfoundland. Our resource potential is so similar that there is ABSOLUTELY no reason not to. The only thing stopping us is the failure to make it happen.

    With strategies like a land lottery, royalty holidays, lower tax incentives, strong partners, and virtually no-COVID, these variables make Newfoundland globally attractive for drilling. A partnership with Norway would put Newfoundland on the global stage as the best place in the world to invest. We should not be settling for anything less.

    We must act now. Because not only is the oil industry in jeopardy, but so is every other facet of business in the province because they are so intricately connected.

    We should not be investing $100 million in Seismic right now. NO, NO, NO, we should be investing all of that in drilling. This province should not spend another dime on Seismic as we already have OVER 600 identified drilling leads offshore. How many more drilling leads do we need? We need to drill and close the deal now. RIGHT NOW!

    We are not in the business of selling land. We are in the business of DEVELOPING OIL FIELDS. There is a huge difference, and our mindset has to shift on this. We need to take the focus off Seismic and get on with drilling.

    We need to work with our companies that have already committed $4 billion worth of work commitments offshore, to get on with drilling. Whatever incentives we need to make drilling happen, let’s do it.

    Our offshore sweet crude is PRECISELY what the world needs to BRIDGE us to new energy. It’s cleaner, greener and it’s an essential part of meeting world oil demand. We can either harness that or throw it away in a failure to act.

    Oil companies want to drill and find oil. We need to give them the tools, solutions, and partnerships to do so. Newfoundland should see themselves as an oil company just like they do in Abu Dhabi, China, Norway, and other smart regions of the world. State-owned oil companies have proven to pay off, time and time, and time and time again. Oil development is not a gamble; this is a substantial business opportunity.

    Equinor would be a stable partner. Let them be leaders in recreating our offshore industry with us. They have the Norwegian experience to transfer here. Bring in the Norwegians from Norsk Hydro that built the North Sea. Let’s do it again!

    Equinor had a plan to develop its $6.8-billion Bay du Nord project, the suspension of drilling activity on the Hibernia platform and deferral of significant subsea developments, and a two-year shutdown of the Terra Nova FPSO. We can’t afford to let all that business tumble.

    Chinese company CNOOC International has also delayed an exploration campaign in the Flemish Pass, and Husky Energy and its partners have halted construction of the White White Rose wellhead platform. We can’t sit down and let this happen. We need to make our own rules and partnerships with long-term solutions for drilling in place.

    We know that every dollar spent on investment in our oil industry leads to $13 in value from oil sales. It’s insane that we keep giving away that return on investment. And then there’s the possibility of Natural Gas on the horizon. Another clean fuel.

    We have INCREDIBLE and UNPRECEDENTED potential. We are resource-rich, and the only thing stopping us is man-made limitations. We don’t have the luxury of being a docile province. We must DRILL NOW.

    With the same level of collaboration, communication, and unity that we showed with Covid-19, we can also do the same with our primary industry in the province. EVERYTHING else works from there.

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