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Natural Resources
February 11, 2010

Acting Premier Recognizes 25th Anniversary of Atlantic Accord

On the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Atlantic Accord, the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Acting Premier and Minister of Natural Resources, today acknowledged the important work of the negotiators and signatories to this historic agreement that paved the way for the development of the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore oil and gas industry.

“This was a pivotal point in our province’s history and it precipitated the development of our first major and pioneer offshore oil project, Hibernia, which has returned substantial benefits to the people of the province and Canada,” said Acting Premier Dunderdale. “When the Atlantic Accord was negotiated, we had a fair share of skeptics who didn’t buy into the vision shared by signatories to this agreement. Now 25 years later, we have three successful producing oil projects and a fourth in development. We also have a robust supply and service sector poised to serve future projects in the province and to offer its capabilities and expertise in new frontiers. Our oil industry continues to flourish. It is the main fiscal engine that drives our provincial economy and represents nearly 40 per cent of our province’s Gross Domestic Product.”

Signatories to the Atlantic Accord included then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney; John Crosbie, Newfoundland and Labrador’s representative in the federal cabinet at the time; former Premier Brian Peckford, and Bill Marshall, former provincial energy minister. The federal and provincial governments also had a long list of skilled officials whose dedication and commitment produced a final agreement on the joint management of the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore and the sharing of revenues from the exploitation of those resources.

The Atlantic Accord provided for the creation of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to jointly manage the oil and gas resources off Newfoundland and Labrador.

In 2005, the Williams Government improved upon the benefits in the original Atlantic Accord by negotiating a new deal that retained a greater share of offshore revenues for the province. The new revenue-sharing arrangement reached between Premier Danny Williams and then Prime Minister Paul Martin resulted in Newfoundland and Labrador receiving 100 per cent of its offshore revenues for the first time, free from any clawbacks while an equalization-receiving province. The 2005 Accord enabled Newfoundland and Labrador to truly be the “principal beneficiary” of the petroleum resources off its shores. For more information, please visit

“The original Atlantic Accord has greatly assisted in the pursuit of long-term economic prosperity and self-reliance for Newfoundland and Labrador, and these benefits were secured and improved in 2005 when Premier Williams succeeded in convincing the Federal Government of the inequity Newfoundland and Labrador had endured for years in not receiving the full benefit of the exploitation of its offshore resources,” said Acting Premier Dunderdale. “The Atlantic Accord is responsible for starting our petroleum industry and the associated benefits that accrue to this province. This is a day for reflection on how far we have come in 25 years, the opportunities that still lie ahead and the power of determination.”

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

2010 02 11                                9:50 a.m.

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