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Natural Resources
February 20, 2009

Supreme Court of Canada Dismisses Appeal

The Provincial Government is pleased with the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada to deny an appeal of the research and development guidelines for petroleum companies operating in Newfoundland and Labrador�s offshore oil and gas sector.

"With the increasing activity in the province�s oil and gas sector, research and development is a critical component that plays a pivotal role in the future of this industry," said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. "With this court challenge behind us, we look forward to working with our industry partners, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) and other key players such as our educational institutions to identify opportunities for research and development that will support the sustainable development of the province�s offshore oil and gas industry."

The Atlantic Accord Acts provide for spending on research and development, education and training in this province and authorize CNLOPB to issue guidelines with respect to such spending. The guidelines require a percentage of capital costs and production phase revenue from oil and gas projects be expended in the province on these key areas. The Supreme Court decision provides a sense of certainty that all offshore operators will undertake an appropriate level of spending on R&D, education and training.

�The Provincial Government has taken major steps to strengthen R&D planning and capacity in the province through initiatives outlined in our Energy Plan as well as through the creation of the Newfoundland and Labrador Research and Development Council,� said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. �The R&D guidelines complement these major initiatives.�

In its Energy Plan, government committed to the development of an energy innovation roadmap to guide research and development investment in the energy sector. This will provide direction, focus and priority for investment in future energy technologies. The Newfoundland and Labrador Research and Development Council is responsible for improving the quality and quantity of R&D undertaken in the province which includes the development of a province-wide strategy to initiate targeted R&D growth.

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Media contact:

Tracy Barron
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources

2009 02 20                                                    11:55 a.m.

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