CNLOPB Celebrates 20th Birthday

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board marks a significant milestone Friday. Twenty years ago, on January 6, 1986, the Board began operations as the regulatory agency responsible for managing the petroleum resources in the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore area on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The past two decades have been an historic period for the Province as the oil and gas industry went from exploration activity in the 1980s to development and production in the 1990s and into the present era as the major economic engine directly contributing 17% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Newfoundland and Labrador. In the coming year, indications are that Newfoundland and Labrador will lead all Canadian provinces in economic growth, driven mainly by offshore oil and gas activity.

In the past 20 years of the Board's regulatory operation, the oil and gas industry has spent $20 billion in exploration, development, and the production of more than 610 million barrels of oil to date. Daily production on the Grand Banks amounts to 400,000 barrels, supplying nearly 40% of Canada's conventional light crude oil supply. More than 3,000 persons are directly employed in petroleum-related activity, and in steady-state production 90% of these are residents of the province. Newfoundland and Labrador content in offshore production operations spending amounts to $600 million annually.

In its responsibilities for regulating safety, the Board received reports of 318 work-related injuries in nearly 28 million hours worked over the past two decades. Few of the reported injuries were serious in nature, and there have been no fatalities. Despite the high risk inherent in offshore petroleum related activity in the severe North Atlantic environment, this industry has one of the best safety records in the Province.

The Board pays tribute to the dedication of the professional and support staff in exploration, resource management, operations and safety, environmental affairs, legal and land, industrial benefits, and support services in their regulation of a complex but dynamic industry. Fourteen members of the C-NLOPB's staff have been with the Board since it began operating 20 years ago, and they will be honored at a special anniversary luncheon on January 18.