Natural Resources
June 18, 2008

Minister Provides Details on Energy Plan Budget Initiatives

The Provincial Government is spending $13 million this year as part of a three-year, $35-million commitment to implement key initiatives outlined in the Energy Plan. The focus this year is on gaining a better understanding of the province�s petroleum resources through new geoscience to attract new investment and exploration.

�These investments in the energy sector are bringing the Provincial Government closer to its Energy Plan vision for energy resource development in the province,� said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. �After the careful research and planning we put into the plan, we are now taking major steps towards its implementation and realizing our long-term vision for our vast wealth of energy resources.�

Minister Dunderdale detailed this year�s oil and gas-related Energy Plan initiatives during her address to the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association (NOIA) Wednesday. The Energy Plan: Focusing Our Energy was released in September 2007.

Budget 2008 provides approximately $7 million for acquiring new geoscience, reprocessing existing data with modern analytical tools and other geoscience-related programs and activities to provide investors with a better picture of the province�s potential petroleum resources.

�This investment will help the province attract new exploration activity by identifying prospective areas for exploration, and exploration is a critical step towards realizing new discoveries,� said Minister Dunderdale. �We are also concentrating on onshore geoscience with aerial surveys covering approximately 7,000 square kilometres on the west coast. We will use the results to guide us in planning and making decisions to advance our knowledge.�

The aerial surveys are part of the $5-million Petroleum Exploration Enhancement Program, which was announced last year with multi-year funding. The results of the surveys will be beneficial in advancing the province�s geoscience knowledge of both the mineral and oil and gas sectors. In the offshore, an analysis of gaps in geophysical information completed by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) is currently being reviewed to identify opportunities to reprocess existing data or acquire new data.

To further promote targeted exploration activity, the department is currently consulting with industry on the development of regulatory and fiscal measures that will be attractive to investment. To do this, the province has established two working groups that reflect the diversity of the province�s oil and gas industry � one for the east coast offshore region and another for western Newfoundland.

�Our budget initiatives this year focus on gaining a greater understanding of our resources and marketing this information to industry to attract exploration and investment to our region,� Minister Dunderdale said. �It is also crucial at this stage to ensure we establish an environment that is conducive and attractive to investment and that we have the programs in place to assist industry in making their own strategic decisions when it comes to their exploration programs.�

To provide greater clarity to companies interested in operating in Newfoundland and Labrador, Budget 2008 also provides $500,000 to work towards the development of natural gas royalty regulations and a new offshore oil regime based on the principles and structure of the natural gas regime. The draft natural gas regime is contained in the Energy Plan. These initiatives will also help ensure a fair share of resource development revenue is returned to the province.

The Energy Plan: Focusing Our Energy is available online at //

- 30 -

Media contact:
Tracy Barron
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
709-729-5282, 690-8241

Energy Plan Budget Highlights

Approximately $7 million for acquiring new geoscience, reprocessing existing data with modern analytical tools and other geoscience-related programs and activities.

  • $2.55 million for new energy efficiency and conservation initiatives as identified in the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan, to be developed and implemented in 2008. These include:
    • $180,000 to expand last year�s successful Holiday Light Switch program.
    • 320,000 for new efficiency and conservation programs to specifically engage the province�s young people.
  • $1.25 million for a major projects capacity study to assess scheduling, timing, employment and infrastructure requirements for the upcoming potential large-scale projects, including Hebron, Hibernia South, White Rose Extension, the Voisey�s Bay commercial processing plant, a possible second refinery, proposed LNG transshipment facility and the Lower Churchill Project.
  • $500,000 to work towards the development of natural gas royalty regulations and a new offshore oil regime based on the principals and structure of the natural gas regime.
  • $450,000 in new initiatives to maximize opportunities for the supply and service sector, including development of a comprehensive information system for the province�s supply and service capability and development of a promotional plan for the sector.
  • $300,000 for the electricity industry for new initiatives focusing on industry structure, regulatory process and rate setting.
  • $250,000 for a detailed assessment of non-diesel electricity supply options for coastal Labrador communities.
  • $250,000 for the development of an Energy Innovation Roadmap to guide the development of the province�s energy innovation strategy.
  • An additional $550,000 will support various initiatives related to petroleum resource marketing, value-added secondary processing, water and wind policy, and onshore regulatory structure.

2008 06 18                         9:30 a.m.

SearchHomeBack to GovernmentContact Us

All material copyright the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. No unauthorized copying or redeployment permitted. The Government assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of any material deployed on an unauthorized server.
Disclaimer/Copyright/Privacy Statement