NL Gazette

Ottawa’s decision on the Bay du Nord oil task off Newfoundland postponed 

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • The hold means a decision initially prepared for December 6 could now arrive by April 13.
  • Equinor’s offered Bay du Nord oil project will use a floating production, storage, and offloading ship, better understood as an FPSO. 
  • According to Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, a judgment from the federal government on the project will be paused for another 40 days.

According to Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, a decision on the offered Bay du Nord oil task off the coast of Newfoundland will be deferred by another 40 days.

In a press release given Friday, the federal government states more time is required to determine if the project can cause “significant adverse environmental effects.”

The minister will also take a statement from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada into account.

Ottawa’s judgment for the project was fixed for Sunday but was initially planned for December 6. The 40-day hold means a decision could arrive by April 13.

Read more: The price of gas hits up to almost 14 cents across NL

Bay du Nord oil project delayed

Radio-Canada said the project has reportedly caused a split within Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet. In February, some Liberal ministers from Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia wanted to abandon Bay du Nord. 

Authorities told Radio-Canada that Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland preferred the project and had mentioned the financial advantages it would get to Newfoundland and Labrador.

According to Radio-Canada, St. John’s South-Mount Pearl MP Seamus O’Regan, the federal labor minister, had also supported the project. Yet, in a statement to CBC News on February 10, an official in O’Regan’s office stated that the minister could not comment because the task is “under active review.”

Norwegian oil giant Equinor and its associates offer to create the enormous oil field in the Flemish Pass, approximately 500 kilometers east of St. John’s.

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