Header Menu: Top-Right


Commodity Pricing

Members and Terms of Reference Announced for the Oil and Gas Industry Recovery Task Force

Executive Council
Industry, Energy and Technology
October 15, 2020

The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology, today announced the members and terms of reference for the Oil and Gas Industry Recovery Task Force.

Task force members, who are working on a volunteer basis, were selected following nominations from the Oil and Gas Industry Development Council, Noia, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, labour, Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association and Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology and Innovation. A diverse set of criteria was used that allowed for the selection of individuals with the appropriate skills and experiences necessary to contribute to driving the recovery of the Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas industry. The task force is structured under four main work streams:

  • Policy and regulation;
  • Exploration and development;
  • Energy transition; and
  • Supply chain.

Reporting to government through the existing provincial Oil and Gas Industry Development Council, the task force will focus on immediate actions required to sustain the offshore industry in Newfoundland and Labrador and provide suggestions for how best to utilize the $320 million in funding from the Federal Government to maximize value for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Given the urgency of the situation, the task force will be required to work quickly and diligently to develop recommendations for immediate implementation. The task force will submit recommendations for eligibility parameters and prioritization criteria for provincial delivery of oil and gas sector support funding within 30 days and submit its recommendations for immediate actions to Council within 90 days.

Two members of the Oil and Gas Industry Development Council, Bill Fanning and Karen Winsor, are co-chairs of the task force. Their bios, all other members’ bios as well as the task force’s terms of reference is outlined in the backgrounder below.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil and gas industry represents one of the lowest carbon per barrel footprints in the world. It contributed more than $22 billion in royalties (to the end of 2019) and directly employed over 6,000 people as well as thousands more in supporting industries (at the end of March 2020).

“The global collapse of oil prices coupled with the pandemic has had a powerful impact on the oil and gas industry worldwide. Similarly, the impact on Newfoundland and Labrador has been dramatic and requires creative solutions and immediate action. I welcome the members of the Oil and Gas Industry Recovery Task Force. Working together, we will help our industry recover.”
Honourable Andrew Furey
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“We have had tremendous interest in the task force and the work that needs to be done. I thank co-chairs Bill and Karen who have already invested a considerable amount of their own time and energy setting up the task force, and all the members for their commitment to find solutions to the problems that face us. I look forward to working with them in the weeks ahead.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology


Biographies of co-chairs of the Oil and Gas Industry Recovery Task Force

Bill Fanning
Bill Fanning has over 30 years of international experience in the upstream energy industry. Mr. Fanning attended the University of Prince Edward Island and University of Calgary, has a degree in business management and attended Concordia University’s Executive Development Program.

From 1980 to 1999, Mr. Fanning held increasingly senior positions with Mobil Oil Canada Ltd. in Calgary, Halifax and later the Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. in St. John’s. From 1999 to 2009, Mr. Fanning was the President and CEO of Spectrol Group, a provider of Asset Integrity services to the upstream oil and gas industry. During that period, Mr. Fanning also co-founded Atlantic XL Inc., a technology services provider in telecommunications, process control and safety systems. Since 2012, Bill has led Kvaerner’s business interests in Canada.

Mr. Fanning was on the Newfoundland Oil and Gas Industries Association (Noia) Board of Directors from 2006 to 2008 and again from 2013 to 2016 and is a founding member of the Provincial Government’s Oil and Gas Industry Development Council. Mr. Fanning is the former board chair, Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information, past president, St. John’s Boys and Girls Club and is a founding member of the Newfoundland and Labrador CEO Safety Charter. He was twice named a top 50 CEO in Atlantic Canada and in 2018 was the recipient of Noia’s Outstanding Contribution Award.

Karen Winsor
Karen Winsor has worked in oil and gas for most of her twenty-year career, focusing on strategic management, business operations, quality and customer delivery. She is currently responsible for the continued success and growth of Atlantic XL here in Canada, and is a part of the management team of XL Global Group in Aberdeen, UK.

Ms. Winsor graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from Memorial University, completed a business exchange program in Oslo’s Norwegian School of Management and most recently finished the Directors’ Education Program at the Institute of Corporate Directors. She currently chairs the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association (Noia) Board of Directors, sits on the boards for Atlantic XL, Tampnet Canada, Bull Arm Fabrication and the Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation, and is a member of the Provincial Government’s Oil and Gas Industry Development Council. Ms. Winsor has been recognized for her efforts in the industry as Noia’s 2014 first Rising Star, and profiled in Oil and Gas Magazine’s ‘Up and Coming.’

Biographies of members of the Oil and Gas Recovery Task Force

Policy and Regulatory Workstream

Elmer Danenberger
Elmer Danenberger is a renowned expert in offshore oil and gas regulation having completed a 38-year career with the U.S Department of the Interior in the offshore oil and gas program, retiring as the chief of offshore regulatory programs in 2010. He has spent the last 10 years consulting with governments, regulators and companies providing services specializing in offshore safety, pollution prevention and regulatory policy. His credentials include co-founder of the International Regulatory Forum, recipient of the Distinguished Service Award – the Department of the Interior’s highest honor award, inductee into the Offshore Energy Center’s Hall of Fame as a Technology Pioneer for Health, Safety and the Environment. He also served as a consultant for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. He was instrumental in the regulatory transformation of the basin.

Matthew Deveau
Matthew Deveau has 14 years of oil and gas experience, with roles including subsurface, surface and wellwork engineering and operations leadership. He has extensive experience interfacing with federal and state agencies on policy and regulatory matters in the United States (Colorado, Utah, Montana and North Dakota) and numerous positions in Atlantic Canada. His current role is as ExxonMobil Canada vice president, with responsibility for safety, security, health, environment and external affairs, including regulatory engagement and advocacy.

Darin King
Darin King is the executive director of Trades NL. Prior to this work, he compiled a strong record of public service as a teacher, school administrator, and Chief Executive Officer of Eastern School District. He is also a former MHA, and served eight years as a Cabinet Minister in numerous senior portfolios. Mr. King has earned a PhD (Business), Master of Education (Administration and Leadership), Bachelor of Education, Diploma in School Resource Services, Certificate in Labour Relations, has completed the Directors’ Education Program from the University of Toronto, and is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D). His involvement is important to represent the interests of the Trades NL membership; and he brings expertise in human resources and labour relations critical to investigating new labour models that are cost effective and lead to greater efficiency, and promote innovation and collaboration.

Max Ruelokke
Max Ruelokke, FEC, P. Eng., ICD.D, is a Newfoundland born and raised professional engineer who has been active in this province’s offshore oil and gas industry since 1980. He has significant experience in engineering design and construction related to project development, shipbuilding and offshore fabrication and offshore production facility EPCM support services. His senior appointments have included President and CEO of Marystown Shipyard Limited, Deputy Minister of the Department of Industry, Trade and Technology and Chairman and CEO of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board. The latter two positions have provided him with a broad and deep background in policy and regulatory matters in the offshore industry. Max is presently an independent consultant to that industry.

Todd Stanley
Todd Stanley is a partner in the St. John’s office of Cox & Palmer. He joined Cox & Palmer as counsel after a career in the public service of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador which culminated with his appointment and service as Deputy Minister and Deputy Attorney General with the Department of Justice and Public Safety. Mr. Stanley’s 16-year career with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador included roles both as solicitor and in management. As solicitor, he acted as lead counsel for the province in a broad range of government’s activities, including serving as lead counsel on major offshore energy developments, mega-project participation and financing, the creation and governance of Crown corporations, as well as participation in the drafting of the legislative frameworks governing the development of the province’s offshore. Mr. Stanley was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2016. He currently advises companies engaged in various aspects of the provincial energy industry.

Exploration and Development Workstream

Kristopher Drodge
Capt. Kristopher Drodge is a strong advocate for the local oil and gas industry. Most recently the Master/Offshore Installation Manager for the Transocean Barents, Henry Goodrich and GSF Grand Banks, Capt. Drodge has an in-depth understanding of drilling contractor operations in harsh weather environments as experienced in offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. As part of various intake processes Capt. Drodge brings experience in regulatory and operational requirements including certification, licensing and training. The task force will benefit from Capt. Drodge’s recent and relevant experience leading drilling contractor offshore exploration programs in Newfoundland and Labrador. He will be able to contribute knowledge to important and long-standing industry issues such as rig intake, Certificate of Fitness requirements and cost competitiveness. Capt. Drodge is a graduate of the Marine Institute (Nautical Science) and Memorial University (Maritime Studies), is a recipient of Noia’s Rising Star award and is Chair of the Atlantic Canada Offshore Petroleum Training and Qualifications Committee (TQC). He resides in Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Jason Muise
Jason Muise is a strong advocate for the local oil and gas industry and understands the importance of building local capacity. As a seasoned leader and subject matter expert in complex subsea field developments, Mr. Muise has a keen understanding of the cost competitiveness drivers impacting field development solutions including, cost-adders for harsh weather developments. He understands the importance of applied technology that leads to safer, more efficient and reliable operations. He has a very good understanding of the local research and development ecosystem including, the importance of commercialization and opportunities for improvement. Mr. Muise is a professional engineer with an undergraduate degree from Memorial University and a master degree in structural engineering from the University of Toronto.

David Ralph
David Ralph has over two decades experience in the offshore oil and gas industry with a broad background from drilling, petroleum technology and offshore operations as well as experience in leading diverse teams through various improvement initiatives and assessment of new ways of working. He is currently the Operations Manager for Equinor’s operations offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, based in St. John’s. David has spent the past number of years in Norway with Equinor, working with the Operations Technology unit and within deep dive teams looking into next generation offshore asset management processes and techniques including, new technology, digitalization and remote operations. David is a Memorial University graduate and a registered Professional Engineer in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mark Williams
Mark Williams has 40 years of experience in the development and operation of large offshore oil fields. His experience ranges from early opportunity evaluation through commercial negotiations, engineering, procurement, construction, installation to operations. The first years of his career were spent in the North Sea and he moved to Canada in the mid-nineties. He has since contributed to the Hibernia, Terra Nova and Hebron Developments. He is familiar with the Newfoundland and Labrador regulatory and supply chain environments. Mr. Williams holds master degrees from Cambridge University and Imperial College London.

Energy Transition Workstream

Steve Emberley
Steve Emberley has over 20 years’ experience working as a geoscientist in various sectors of the oil and gas industry in Newfoundland and Labrador and Western Canada. He joined the Oil and Gas Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador, formerly Nalcor Oil and Gas, in 2014 where he is Manager of Subsurface in the operations group overseeing subsurface aspects of the company’s equity stakes in Hebron, Hibernia and White Rose. Mr. Emberley is also responsible for exploring emerging technologies that can reduce GHG emissions in the province’s offshore, where he has been collaborating with Noia and NEIA. Mr. Emberley graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Earth Sciences from Memorial University focused on measuring atmospheric CO2, and a M.Sc. in Geology from the University of Calgary focused on the geochemistry of CO2 storage at an enhanced oil recovery site. He is a licensed Professional Geoscientist with Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Caron Hawco
Caron Hawco is a communications and international business development strategist, negotiator and facilitator. A specialist in oil and gas, she is the former chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industry Association (Noia). Her recent projects have focused on opening new markets, including Guyana and Norway, commercializing technologies, sustainability agreements, the diversification of the province’s oil and gas industry and the region’s expansion and growth into the clean and ocean tech sectors. Ms. Hawco has provided strategic advice to corporate and industry leaders from international corporations, all levels of government and industry associations. She has worked in multiple sectors, including mining, research and development, healthcare, organized labour, advanced technology as well as the social services, not-for-profit and education sectors. Ms. Hawco is an internationally accredited communicator, formerly awarded Newfoundland and Labrador’s Communications Professional of the Year, a Certified International Trade Professional and a Professional Project Manager.

Lesley James
Lesley James, PhD, P.Eng, is an associate professor and former Chevron chair in petroleum engineering in the Department of Process Engineering at Memorial University. Dr. James’ research focuses on sustainable oil production by increasing oil recovery rates through enhanced oil recovery and production optimisation. Efficient and sustainable oil production comes from optimizing the integrated process and creating a circular economy by re-injecting natural gas and generated CO2 – both greenhouse gases and useful solvents for oil recovery. Dr. James was awarded the 2018 Dean’s Award for Research Excellence along with awards for her volunteering efforts.

Dr. James is a professional engineer with PEGNL, a member, technical committee member, and past president of the Society of Core Analysts (SCA); committee member and faculty advisor for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE); and members of the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineers (CSChE) and European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE).

Todd Mercer
Todd Mercer, P.Eng, is a senior developments engineer based in St. John’s. For over 25 years he has worked in the design, construction and operation of offshore and onshore oil and gas projects. Mr. Mercer is currently engaged in Husky Energy’s greenhouse gas reduction opportunities.

Tim O’Leary
Tim O’Leary has 30 years of experience primarily in the oil and gas sector. Tim worked for 10 years in construction prior to moving to oil and gas in 1998. He spent most of his career in Newfoundland and Labrador and held a number of senior local and international roles while based in St. John’s. He has extensive management and technical experience across the entire project life cycle including engineering, fabrication, construction and operations. Tim is recognized for building strong teams and seamless project execution.

Tim was born on the Southern Shore of Newfoundland and Labrador. He graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Memorial University and completed the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at the Marine Institute. He has held a number of volunteer roles and been involved with a number of local organizations including School Council Chair – Outer Cove, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Jimmy Pratt Foundation, Kids Eat Smart, Janeway Telethon and Eastern Health.

Supply Chain Workstream

Carolyn Barnes
Carolyn Barnes graduated from Memorial University’s mechanical engineering program and has worked in the oil and gas industry for over 15 years in a variety of roles including engineering, safety, security, health and environment and most recently, procurement. Ms. Barnes has worked in western Canada, eastern Canada and Australia. Her current role as the ExxonMobil Canada procurement manager oversees the acquisitions and supply chain teams and services both Hebron and Hibernia.

Geoff Cunningham
Geoff Cunningham graduated in 1983 from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador with a Bachelor of Commerce. He has been in the oil and gas industry since 1987 where he started in the downstream in his capacity as Industrial Sales Manager (Newfoundland and Labrador) for Petro-Canada through Harvey’s Oil, Petro-Canada’s Newfoundland partner. In this role he was responsible for the marine fuels, lubricants and drilling fluid markets. In 1999 Geoff transferred to the parent company, A.Harvey & Co. Ltd. where he assumed responsibility for offshore operations. In 2017 Geoff assumed his current role as Vice President Operations for A.Harvey where in addition to the companies’ offshore operations he oversees Argentia Freezers and Terminals, Harvey Autocarriers and A.Harvey’s bulk road salt divisions.

Geoff is a champion for the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industry serving eight years on the Noia Board of Directors where he held the office of Board Chair in 2009.

Jennifer Haley
Jennifer Haley has worked in the oil and gas industry for 18 years, with extensive experience and focus in the local supply chain sector. Throughout her career, Ms. Haley has formed valuable relationships with local and international suppliers in delivering successful projects in Newfoundland and Labrador. In her current role as Supply Chain Manager for Aker Solutions Canada, she is responsible for the supply chain activities for key clients Husky Energy, Suncor and ExxonMobil Canada Properties.

Ms. Haley graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Memorial University and completed a Masters Certificate in Project Management from York University. Jennifer was recently elected to the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association Board of Directors. Jennifer is also a member of the Noia/NEIA Cleantech Committee.

John Henley
John Henley graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a master of science in ocean engineering and ocean systems management. This followed his bachelor of engineering (mechanical) degree from Memorial University. Mr. Henley began his career with Mobil Oil Canada and gained positions with increasing seniority and responsibility throughout western Canada, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Henley is currently the vice president of project services with the Cahill Group. In addition to this supply experience, he has a wealth of operator experience through his employment with Mobil. Mr. Henley is a former chair of Noia and was a key player in Noia’s Redefining Oil. His areas of focus are supply, strategic planning and construction management.

Dave Mercer
Dave Mercer is the current serving president of UNIFOR Local 2121 and very proudly represents over 700 workers in the oil and offshore industry of Newfoundland and Labrador. Throughout his career in the offshore, he has served the unionized membership in several capacities of union committees and executive positions. Dave has been in the oil and gas industry for over 23 years. He started his career with offshore in the supply chain management moving to Hibernia in June 1997, eventually moving to his current role in 2003 working on the Terra Nova FPSO. Dave works tirelessly to show his pride in the work he and the membership of the union have done in furthering the oil and gas industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. The membership is well represented with Dave at the head of the local, and currently he is anticipating an accomplishment of support and assistance to the workers and their families using the federal package to get the workforce back in operation.

Oil and Gas Industry Recovery Task Force
Terms of Reference

The oil and gas industry has played a pivotal role in the growth and development of Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy. According to a 2019 study prepared by the provincial Department of Finance, from 2010 to 2017, total (direct, indirect and induced) economic benefits related to the offshore petroleum industry in Newfoundland and Labrador accounted for nearly 30 per cent of GDP, 13 per cent of labour compensation, and 10 per cent of employment.

The Oil and Gas Industry Development Council (Council) was established in 2016 and brought together key stakeholders to work collaboratively on developing a vision for the oil and gas sector. On February 19, 2018, the province released The Way Forward – on oil and gas, entitled “Advance 2030: A Plan for Growth in the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industry” (Advance 2030) which aims to position the province globally as a preferred location for oil and gas development. The Council has played a key role in developing and implementing Advance 2030.

The recent global collapse of oil prices coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a powerful blow to the Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas sector, with the impacts being felt throughout the industry, from large multinational operators to small suppliers. Thousands of people have faced job losses as operators and contractors reduce costs in response. Moreover, due to low prices and trade uncertainty, oil producers around the world are reducing their investments and scaling back their production activities which will have serious impacts on the province’s economic recovery. The downturn in the industry caused by foreign overproduction and a dramatic drop in demand due to the global pandemic, could see an estimated loss of $61 billion to the provincial GDP between now and 2038.

In May 2020, the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador committed the province to net zero emissions by 2050. Newfoundland and Labrador offshore oil is one of the least carbon intensive extractive crudes in the world and emits significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than other oil-producing jurisdictions. As economies begin to reopen and global demand for petroleum products returns, we need to ensure that Newfoundland and Labrador remains a global energy leader, demonstrating that this demand can be met in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner. Provincial offshore oil and gas sector stakeholders must act now to implement the necessary actions to sustain the offshore industry in the short-term; reposition the industry for recovery for the long term; and support the transition to renewables and the commitment to net zero emissions.

On September 25, 2020 the Government of Canada announced a $320 million contribution to the province to support the Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas sector. The funding will be utilized to fund measures and initiatives that support the creation or maintenance or direct and indirect employment and generate environmental benefits or co-benefits.

As such, the Council established an Oil and Gas Industry Recovery Task Force (Task Force) to recommend actions to drive the economic recovery of the Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas sector and provide input on the development of principles and priorities to guide the utilization of the oil and gas funding. Given the urgency of the situation, the Task Force will be expected to deliver a final report to the Council within 90 days; however, it may issue interim reports or individual recommendations on pressing issues prior to the release of the final report.

The mandate of the Task Force is to develop recommendations to Council for immediate actions led by government and/or industry that will sustain the offshore industry in the short-term and drive the recovery of the Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas sector over the long term.

The Task Force will also develop recommendations to the Council and the province related to the $320 million in federal funding on 1) the eligibility parameters for the provincial delivery of the funding program; and, 2) prioritization criteria for eligible proposals.

The objectives of the Task Force include:

  • Recommendations for key immediate actions required by government and/or industry to help stabilize and grow the Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas sector;
  • Identification of timelines and key accountabilities for recommended actions;
  • Collaboration with key government and industry stakeholders to identify the necessary actions to drive the recovery of the Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas sector; and,
  • Recommendations for eligibility parameters and prioritization criteria for provincial delivery of oil and gas sector support funding.

Task Force membership, including the number of members, will be determined by the Minister of Industry Energy and Technology, in consultation with Council. It will be co-chaired by two current Council members:

  1. Bill Fanning, President and Canada Country Manager, Kvaerner; and
  2. Karen Winsor, Board Chair, Noia.

The remaining members will be made of up representatives from both government and industry with a diverse mix of skills and experience that can contribute to positioning the Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas industry for recovery. The Task Force will consult with and solicit input from targeted stakeholders as required.

Administrative support for the Council will be provided by the Department of Industry, Energy and Technology with support from the Office of Public Engagement.

Given the urgency of the situation, the Task Force will be required to work quickly and diligently to develop recommendations for immediate implementation. Once established, the Task Force will:

  • Submit recommendations for eligibility parameters and prioritization criteria for provincial delivery of oil and gas sector support funding within 30 days.
  • Submit its recommendations for immediate actions to Council within 90 days.

The Task Force will produce:

  • Recommendations for eligibility parameters and prioritization criteria for provincial delivery of oil and gas sector support funding. The recommendations will focus on the creation of direct and indirect employment, the generation of environmental benefits, and maximize the value for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.
  • A final report to be submitted to Council which details recommended actions, timelines, and associated accountability for implementation. The final report will include immediate actions required, as well as an accountability framework to foster effective implementation of recommendations by appropriate government and/or industry stakeholders.


Issued by the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador on October 15, 2020.