Noia CEO Charlene Johnson appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources today to outline concerns of Noia members regarding Bill C-69. During her appearance before the Committee, Johnson provided results of an analysis by Wood Mackenzie of the environmental approval process for Newfoundland and Labrador compared to other jurisdictions.
“I would like to thank members of the Standing Senate Committee for coming to our province to learn more about Canada’s offshore oil and gas industry and to hear our concerns with Bill C-69,” said Johnson. “During my presentation I outlined that environmental assessments for exploration drilling programs are completely out of step with leading jurisdictions such as Norway, the U.K., and Australia which we compete with for exploration activity and international investment; jurisdictions touted as world leaders when it comes to environmental management.”
Johnson presented the committee with a comparison slide which illustrates that the average environmental approval timeframe in the United Kingdom is 18 days, in Norway is 79 days, in the Gulf of Mexico (deepwater) is 96 days and is 144 days in Australia, while in Nova Scotia it is 698 days. With the recent release of two exploration wells from environmental assessment the average time for review is 905 days in Newfoundland and Labrador under CEAA, 2012.
“While recent releases of two environmental assessments for exploration wells offshore Newfoundland is positive, the data speaks for itself – we are not globally competitive with respect to timelines for environmental assessments for exploration wells. Nearly three years to conduct a 30 to 90-day activity is not conducive to attracting more investment,” continued Johnson. “Bill C-69 must be amended to exempt offshore activities of short duration, for which there are well understood impacts and mitigations, from the Designated Project List. We have heard this is intended, but we require legislative certainty to help grow our industry.”
A copy of Johnson’s remarks to the Standing Senate Committee, the comparison slide presented, and the jurisdictional analysis of Wood Mackenzie accompany this news release. The comparison slide updates the Wood Mackenzie analysis to reflect recent environmental approvals under CEAA, 2012.