ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The Newfoundland and Labrador government has delivered some encouraging news about its potential offshore oil and gas resources, saying new seismic data is pointing to huge reserves in West Orphan Basin.
Premier Dwight Ball announced Wednesday that an independent assessment of nine parcels in the basin found they could contain 25.5 billion barrels of oil and 20.6 trillion cubic feet of gas.
The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, which regulates the province’s offshore industry, has already issued a call for bids that closes in November 2016.
Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady says the data have revealed 350 leads and prospects — more than 50 of which are in the West Orphan Basin.
Ball says the new estimates should encourage more oil and gas exploration, despite the dramatic downturn in the industry.
“We do recognize that exploration is down globally due to current challenges in the oil and gas industry,” he said in a statement.
“Still, we are cautiously optimistic about positive results of the licensing round in November 2016. We are fully expecting more exploration work by the leading oil and gas companies in the world.”
The assessment was conducted by Beicip-Franlab, based in Paris.