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March 22, 1999
(Mines and Energy)

Additional resources for Energy Branch to address growing
offshore industry and importance of hydroelectricity in province

Mines and Energy Minister, Roger Grimes, says approximately $1 million in additional resources will be used to enhance the Energy Branch of the department, to address the growing offshore industry and importance of hydroelectricity in the province.

"The energy sector is expected to be the main contributor to the provincial economy over the next several years and is the fundamental reason why Newfoundland and Labrador is leading the country in economic growth," said Mr. Grimes. "In order to maximize the benefits from development of our energy resources, we must plan not only for today, but for the future, to seize new opportunities and ensure the people of the province receive full and fair benefits from these projects."

Mr. Grimes said the additional financial resources will enable the branch to increase their staff and support functions. More professional staff, such as petroleum geologists, engineers, and financial analysts, will help the department meet its petroleum and electricity resource development and management mandate.

"This is a strong investment in our future. In a growing industry, with activity increasing at Hibernia, production slated for late 2000 with Terra Nova, several drilling programs underway, and the Churchill Falls Project on the agenda, we must be proactive and responsive," said Mr. Grimes. "We need to continue to enhance, not just maintain, our competitive edge to ensure we maximize the value of our resources and ensure Newfoundlanders and Labradorians reap the optimum benefits from these resources."

Media contact: Carl Cooper, Communications, (709) 729-4890.


  • Funding in the amount of $980,000 has been provided for additional staff and support functions for the Energy Branch of the Department of Mines and Energy.

  • This is primarily represented by an allocation of $630,000 to salaries and will result in the creation of up to 14 new full-time positions.

  • This further allocation will complement the existing 24 full-time approved positions within the Energy Branch

  • The remaining $350,000 represents a proportionate allocation to the branch's operating (transportation, communications, supplies and professional services) budget to support the additional human resources.

  • This investment will better enable the department to meet its petroleum and electricity resource development and management mandate through additional professional staff including petroleum geologists, engineers, auditors, economic/financial analysts and support staff.

  • These enhanced resources reflect the importance, growth and contribution of the energy sector to the provincial economy.

1999 03 22

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