ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Newfoundland and Labrador will have to wait another 40 days for a federal decision on the fate of a proposed offshore oil project led by Norwegian oil giant Equinor.
Ottawa said Friday in a news release that federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault has been granted another 40 days to review the “extensive information” about whether the proposed Bay du Nord project will have significant environmental impacts.
The project would open a fifth oilfield off the coast of St. John’s in an area where some experts say there is an estimated 800 million recoverable barrels of oil.
Earlier this week, 118 environmental groups and academics across Canada signed a letter calling for Ottawa to reject the project, saying it’s incompatible with Canada’s domestic and global climate commitments.
The letter also notes the International Energy Agency’s declaration in May that there can be no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects if the world is going to hit net-zero targets by 2050.
Premier Andrew Furey and provincial Energy Minister Andrew Parsons issued a release Friday saying they remain optimistic the project will be approved, as it will be the country’s “most carbon-efficient development of its scale.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2022.