NL Gazette

The oil industry calls Bay du Nord support success, weather advocates blame it

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • The federal government formally authorized the Bay du Nord oil project Wednesday.
  • With a water deepness of some 1,200 meters, Equinor’s Bay du Nord project will utilize a floating production, storage, and offloading vessel, better known as an FPSO. 

On Wednesday, responses to federal approval of the Bay du Nord oil project ranged from success to condemnation, as supporters praised financial benefits. At the same time, those fighting it criticized the environmental effect of fossil fuel emissions.

Supporters of the project, which have the Newfoundland and Labrador government and the local oil industry, say it will help the province transition to renewable energy while meeting persisting international demand for oil. Meanwhile, climate scientists and environmental activists state that the project flies in the face of national climate goals and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommendations.

Norwegian oil firm Equinor and its members plan to expand the oil field in the Flemish Pass, approximately 500 kilometers east of St. John’s. With drilling to occur more than a kilometer underwater, Bay du Nord will be the first task to move the region’s offshore oil industry into such deep waters.

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responses to federal approval of the Bay du Nord oil project ranged from success to condemnation

Equinor intends to use a vast floating production, storage, and offloading vessel, generally known as an FPSO, to produce up to 200,000 barrels every day.

The federal government’s support of the project follows the release of its weather plan last week, which set a cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector, but did not call for an end to production.

Thumbs up from the oil sector

According to Equinor, the project will do thousands of jobs and cause $3.5 billion in income, an appealing proposition for a government that is billions of dollars in debt.

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