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Noia Chair Briefs PM Trudeau and Cabinet on the Importance of NL Offshore Oil & Gas Industry

From Noia
Issued September 13, 2017

Andrew Bell, Chair of Noia’s Board of Directors, participated in a panel discussion with Prime Minister Trudeau and his Cabinet yesterday and spoke to the importance of the industry and the challenges it faces. Andrew spoke with VOCM and the transcript of that interview, which aired today, is below:

VOCM: The Premier mentioned that there's no real give on the fate of the C-NLOPB. How are you feeling about that? 

ANDREW BELL: We haven't got the answers yet. We're waiting for the answers. We're hoping they're going to make right decisions and do the right things. This industry has operated for in excess of 30 years and done well. We have a robust process through the C-NLOPB, and we'd like to see it stay that way. We don't think there's a need to add bureaucracy and red tape to a process that's already cumbersome. We don't want to change the robustness of the process; what we want is to see it done is a much more efficient and time efficient manner, and that's what we think is really important today. We're competing globally for investments in our offshore oil and gas. It's the same thing as I gave an example to someone else...if you went to buy a car, and someone said you can have it in six months; someone else told you that you can have it in three years, I think you'd buy the car that you could get it in six months. And, that's what we're saying: in order to compete globally, we need to be able to make it an efficient process, and a shorter-term process. We don't want to see any time added to it. We want to actually see it shorter. 

VOCM: Are you confident that the Federal Government is going to hear those concerns, and keep the C-NLOPB on the block? 

ANDREW BELL: I'm hoping so. One of the things that I keep hearing is that this Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas when actually, this is Canadian oil and gas. If you look at our reservoir, our basins are 45% bigger than Norway, about 50% bigger than the Gulf of Mexico, and 67% bigger than the U.K.. So, when you look at that aspect of it, there's huge opportunity. Those are three countries - and look at the benefit it's been to those three countries, and here we are talking about Newfoundland and Labrador. It's not just this province; it's the country as a whole that our oil and gas is beneficial to, and we're hoping Ottawa gets that message and looks into it and sees the benefit as well.

VOCM: Do you foresee maybe a marriage of two entities, and the role of the C-NLOPB maybe joining or partnering with the national entity? 

ANDREW BELL: Not at all. We don't want to see that; we want to see the C-NLOPB - they've done a great job. Over the last 30 years we believe that they've been responsible in managing the offshore, and managing the environmental assessment process. So, for us, anything that gets added to that – being additional groups that have to be consulted or further things that have to happen – that gets concerning for us as it makes the process longer. You know, one of the other issues is the Indigenous consultation. We support Indigenous consultation 110%. We think it's right; its what needs to happen, particularly in the land claims and other areas like that, and certainly in the inshore fishing grounds. But, is it relative to 300 kilometres offshore? That's the question we're asking is. Let’s talk about what's relevant and what's in context of where we're doing things.  

VOCM: May I ask your participation or involvement here this morning? 

ANDREW BELL: I was involved in a panel discussion with the cabinet and the Prime Minister to talk about Newfoundland issues. 

VOCM: What was it...what was most important for you to get out there? 

ANDREW BELL: Just the message about Newfoundland oil and gas – that this is a national oil and gas industry and that it’s important that everybody understand we're in this together, and do what's right to be competitive globally. 

Program:  VOCM - Morning Show
Aired:    2017/09/13 06:51:00am
Reporter: Gerri Lynn Mackey

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