Noia’s first Oil & Gas Conference since the beginning of the global pandemic concluded on Wednesday, September 22 with an overwhelming sense of optimism for the future. While it was a scaled back version of our typical conferences, members appreciated the insightful content and long overdue opportunity to network with colleagues and friends.
Some of the highlights included opening remarks from Premier Andrew Furey who kicked things off with extremely positive and encouraging words, saying to the gathered Noia members and delegates, “…our government fully supports the industry and we know how important it is to our province.”
Updates from our offshore operators provided positive news about the direction of our industry. Laz Cosma of ExxonMobil and Torstein Hole of Equinor spoke about plans for exploratory drilling next year, and Josée Tremblay reiterated Suncor’s commitment to our region and provided the latest information about the Terra Nova Asset Life Extension program. Jonathan Brown of Cenovus updated the status of the West White Rose project, including ongoing maintenance on the CGS in Argentia and stated that a decision was likely coming next year on the future of the project. When speaking about the potential next offshore project for our industry, Torstein said that Bay du Nord is an important project for the future of Equinor.
Two luncheon speakers renewed our hope in the industry’s future, with Chris Slubicki illustrating why we should remain proud of our industry, and highlighting that all forms of energy are needed to meet global demand, especially Canadian energy produced with the highest of ESG standards. Another key message from Chris was that our modern society has achieved so much because leaders and innovators were brave and had the courage to build infrastructure. We too, as an industry, need to demonstrate “the guts” – as Chris put it – to move forward and develop our resources and to help all people of the world achieve the lifestyle and privileges we have.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s own astronaut hopeful Bethany Downer spoke during the second lunch and focused on the similarities between the space sector and the oil and gas industry. She shared the many connections between the two, including using offshore installations as training facilities for astronauts and using offshore platforms for satellite launches. Bethany shared ways technology is growing, at an exponential rate, and how space and the extractive industries can work together to help reduce carbon emissions, employing those new technologies across multiple sectors.
Minister Andrew Parsons spoke on the final day, once again reiterating governments commitment to the offshore oil and gas industry. He referenced the importance of the oil and gas industry to things such as health and education in the province, and providing the provincial government with the ability to offer important services to residents. Minister Parsons also announced $1M in funding for Noia and econext (formerly NEIA) for a joint net zero project. This work will allow both associations to continue their collaboration and help our province find the pathway to net zero. Along those lines, Noia Chair James Parmiter also updated members on the next steps in the vision and mandate review process and informed everyone that an RFP for services to potentially change the association’s name, logo, and mandate will be issued soon.
There was also a lot of engaging discussion on local content, talk about why our future remains positive, and what needs to be done collectively as an industry to ensure we reach our full potential.
I would like to thank the conference committee, led by Karen Winsor, and volunteers for making this year’s conference a huge success. We look forward to next year’s conference and getting back to a more typical event over the course of three days with more networking opportunities.
Noia values your feedback and I encourage you to take a few minutes to complete the following short survey about the Noia Oil & Gas Conference 2021: Resilient and ReEnergized. Your responses will help us improve our conference. The survey can be found here.