CBS council comes out in support of deep water oil play

CBS council has passed a special resolution in support of the controversial Bay du Nord offshore oil project, which is currently being assessed by the federal cabinet.

Councillors described the project as critical to the province’s economic stability.

“Bay du Nord will create jobs for our people, increase supply opportunities for our businesses, and positively impact our local economy by helping the province meet global demand for responsible oil while also supporting the provincial government’s commitment to Net Zero by 2050,” said Mayor Darrin Bent. “Council is very cognizant of the importance of environmental sustainability and is very encouraged that Bay du Nord has the potential to produce the lowest carbon barrels of oil in Canada.”

Federal approval of the project has proved difficult because of the government’s pledge to move to a Green economy and reduce this country’s greenhouse gas emissions in the face of dire warnings from scientists about the sustainability of the planet due to global warming.

The Bay du Nord field is located some 500 kms from shore, almost double the distance of Hibernia and at depths ranging from 650 to 1,200 metres under the ocean, in waters up to 12 times as deep. That would make responding to an environmental or human safety emergency much more difficult and time consuming.

But with the conventional fields of Hibernia, White Rose and Terra Nova seeing the end of their production days on the horizon, and the new Hebron field just finding its legs, proponents of the local offshore oil industry see Bay du Nord as their best hope to keep the oil sector going in this province.

Bay du Nord is made up of several oil deposits in the deep waters of the Flemish Pass basin, located well northeast of the Jeanne D’Arc basin that holds the Hibernia and other fields still in production. The region’s first discovery was made in 2013 by Norway’s Statoil, which now goes by the name of Equinor. Four additional discoveries were made in 2015 and 2016, bringing the estimated number of recoverable barrels of oil to 300 million.

Council’s resolution says that whereas the Town is focused on “the opportunities the offshore industry can provide to our municipality due to our expansive, sheltered bay… and whereas the Bay du Nord project will create jobs for our residents, increase supply opportunities for our businesses and will positively impact the economy for our province,” the Town of Conception Bay South offers its full support for the project and asks the Government of Canada to recognize its critical importance to the economic sustainability of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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