Return of Offshore Drilling Rig Good News for Newfoundland, Labrador

The return of the offshore drill rig Henry Goodrich shows that the province remains a top destination for international oil and gas exploration investment, the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources said. Earlier today, StatoilHydro announced the drill rig Henry Goodrich will return to the province for two and a half years of offshore exploration and production drilling under a sharing agreement between the company, Husky Energy and Petro-Canada.

"This is great news for the industry and the entire province and shows that these multi-national oil companies like what they're seeing in Newfoundland and Labrador," said Minister Dunderdale. "These companies were able to meet the challenges of a tight supply of oil rigs internationally by working together to put their people and this valuable asset to work in our offshore region."

The three companies will alternate possession of the rig to carry out drilling activities including exploring on both older and recently acquired licences and drilling to better define existing discoveries. The Henry Goodrich is currently in the Gulf of Mexico and will return to the province during the summer of 2008. Transocean Inc. owns and operates the semi-submersible drilling rig.

"This investment in a co-operative, multi-year, multi-well drilling program speaks volumes about the province's excellent oil and gas prospects, our energy plan and our attractive business climate," said Minister Dunderdale.

The province has produced more than 870 million barrels of oil since production began in its offshore region in 1997. Approximately 2.8 billion barrels of oil and 10.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas have been discovered offshore Newfoundland and Labrador to date. Geoscientific studies suggest another six billion barrels of oil and 60 trillion cubic feet of natural gas remain undiscovered around the province.

"Oil and gas exploration activity is also on the rise in other parts of the province," said Minister Dunderdale. "There are several exploration programs at advanced stages in western Newfoundland and the recent Call for Bids for exploration off Labrador shows the industry is thriving throughout the province."

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