News Releases
Government Home Search Sitemap Contact Us  

Natural Resources
January 25, 2010

Oil and Gas Study Assists in Identifying Opportunities in Western Region

The Provincial Government today released a report outlining how the community, industry and government can support the development and growth of an oil and gas sector on the west coast.

The report, Infrastructure and Supply and Service Requirements and Opportunities for Oil and Gas Industry: Western Newfoundland, is the result of a partnership between the Department of Natural Resources and the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade. It contains nine broad recommendations to assist the region in supporting future potential development in the short to longer term.

"The study is an important information tool for government, industry and local businesses as exploration moves forward and opportunities increase," said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. "This will assist in long-term planning and decision-making. Local companies will be able to identify potential types of opportunities and their role in industry development. By working together, we can more accurately assess the future needs of the region."

As part of a 2003 Blueprint commitment, a consultant was contracted to identify oil and gas-related infrastructure needs and service and supply opportunities associated with development in the province's western region. The study identifies ways to help ensure that the western region has the necessary capabilities to service potential onshore and offshore activity. It also recommends that the larger centres of Corner Brook and Stephenville work together to benefit the entire region rather than in isolation and in competition.

"The study provides us with several short and longer term recommendations that government will need to consider as we develop the industry in this region," said Minister Dunderdale. "It also emphasizes the important need for collaboration and cooperation among all interest groups to ensure we maximize the economic benefits associated with future development."

The report was released today at the monthly luncheon of the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade by the Honourable Ross Wiseman, Minister of Business, on behalf of Minister Dunderdale.

The report emphasizes the need to ensure a regulatory environment that provides an attractive economic climate for industry and businesses, and it recommends continuing improvements to the region's infrastructure capabilities with investments in transportation, health-care and educational facilities. The report also promotes the need to develop training programs that will enable residents to enter the workforce and meet the growing demand for employment.

"This study gives us a much greater understanding of the potential business opportunities related to petroleum development on the west coast," said Minister Dunderdale. "This will encourage the participation of local businesses and residents interested in taking advantage of the commercial and employment opportunities associated with the development of this industry."

"The study supports one of our main goals of educating businesses and other key stakeholders from Port aux Basques to St. Anthony about the oil and gas industry, our capabilities, the broad opportunities at different phases of development and the experiences of other oil and gas regions," said Sharon McLennon, chairperson of the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade's Western Newfoundland Oil and Gas Steering Committee. "Our committee is very pleased that we could work with the Provincial Government to help guide the development of the report. We look forward to building on this partnership to promote the region's oil and gas industry in the future."

The Provincial Government continues to work on business attraction with oil companies and is making significant strategic investments in the region through Nalcor Energy, such as the Parsons Pond drilling program and geoscience collection and dissemination. Increased seismic information will enable the province to understand the geological makeup of the area and lead to more targeted drilling programs. The department recently released a series of high-resolution aeromagnetic maps of the region's onshore area, and is investing $20 million on the purchase, reprocessing and acquisition of valuable seismic data in the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore area.

- 30 -

Media contacts:

Tracy Barron
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
709-729-5282, 690-8241
Melvin Woodman
Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade


Infrastructure and Supply and Service Requirements and Opportunities for Oil and Gas Industry: Western Newfoundland

Highlights of the report's nine broad main recommendations:

  • Ensure a regulatory and administrative environment to maximize investment in onshore and offshore exploration and attract industry operators and businesses to the region;
  • Ensure the protection of key natural resource areas, including Gros Morne National Park, the Humber Valley and the Bay of Islands;
  • Establish a clear environmental regime between the provincial and federal governments;
  • Continue to improve infrastructure in the region through investments in education, health-care facilities, transportation and commercial land availability;
  • Encourage the planning, regeneration and use of existing infrastructure, including that in Port aux Basques, Stephenville, Corner Brook, Deer Lake, Port Saunders and St. Anthony, to ensure it continues to support existing economic sectors;
  • Maintain and upgrade infrastructure specific to the needs of potential hydrocarbon projects, including wharves and air facilities at Corner Brook and Stephenville;
  • Facilitate the training of local residents to help them meet the demand for skills in this emerging sector;
  • Continue to invest in public education, health care, cultural and recreational opportunities to serves the needs of the region; and,
  • Continue to promote the western region as a place of opportunity for business investment and families.
  • The report also contains seven specific longer term actions for consideration that could take place over a period of 10 years to help support achieving the study's main recommendations. For more information and to view a copy of the study, please visit // 


    2010 01 25                                                      2:10 p.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