Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Norwegian oil company to quit Alberta, focus on offshore activities in Atlantic Canada

Norwegian oil company to quit Alberta, focus on offshore activities in Atlantic Canada

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The company owns a minority stake in the Terra Nova, Hebron and Hibernia offshore projects in Newfoundland and Labrador in addition to operating in seven other non-producing offshore licenses in the Atlantic province. In October, the company announced it had made hydrocarbon discoveries at two wells drilled on its Cappahayden and Cambriol prospects in the Flemish Pass Basin in the Atlantic , but it did not release estimates of how much oil it could produce from the formations.

Collins said the company announced “an ongoing efficiency project” in its international businesses in Aug. 2020 and its decision to leave Calgary is part of this cost-cutting initiative.

Equinor is among a handful of European oil producers including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and BP Plc to sell its oilsands holdings and refocus its efforts elsewhere.

The Hebron Platform, anchored in Trinity Bay, N.L. Photo by Paul Daly/The Canadian Press files

However, it is one of the few international companies to divest from the oilsands to continue looking at additional oil projects in Canada.

“This is definitely an interesting case,” said Joseph Marchand, associate professor of economics at the University of Alberta, who noted that in years past Alberta has drawn workers from Newfoundland and Labrador rather than sending workers the other way.

Now, St. John’s has a lower unemployment rate, at 8.7 per cent in Dec. 2020 according to Statistics Canada, than Calgary where the unemployment rate sits at 10.9 per cent.

At the provincial level, Newfoundland and Labrador continues to suffer a higher unemployment rate, at 12.5 per cent, than Alberta, where unemployment sits at 10.9 per cent.

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