Nova Scotia Drawing Significant Exploration Dollars
The Canadian-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board and the Nova
Scotia Petroleum Directorate awarded 19 offshore Nova Scotia
exploration licenses and three onshore licenses yesterday for a
total of C$592 million, the largest investment in petroleum
exploration ever made in Nova Scotia.
The Sable Island Offshore Energy Project producers, Mobil Corp.,
Shell Canada and Imperial Oil, contributed the bulk of the
investments, C$192 million for six parcels. The largest bid for one
license was valued at C$93 million and was made by a group
consisting of PanCanadian Petroleum, Marathon Canada, Murphy Oil
and Norsk Hydro.
"This is the start of a new era," Nova Scotia Premier Russell
MacLellan said in a speech at the Offshore Technology Conference in
Houston. "It shows that the petroleum sector has confidence that
Sable is just the beginning of Nova Scotia's vast oil and gas
The offshore leases were put up for exploration bids in
December. Offshore leases are good for five years, and up to nine
years under certain conditions. The three onshore tracts awarded
totaled $9.8 million. Onshore leases are valid for three years.
Exploration will spread beyond the Sable Island area to include
lands south of the island as well as in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Offshore activity will also be stepped up with the awarding of
three-year exploration rights to Hunt Oil and Northstar Energy.
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