ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The global COVID-19 pandemic is spelling trouble for Newfoundland and Labrador’s oil and gas industry, a major source of revenue for the cash-strapped province.
Premier Dwight Ball acknowledged on Wednesday the province is experiencing “tough times,” referencing deferred investment on projects and “historic lows” in oil prices.
Earlier that day, Equinor and Husky Energy announced the decision to defer the Bay du Nord offshore development project due to falling oil prices and economic downturn as countries respond to the novel coronavirus.
A statement from Equinor Canada says planning on the project will continue with adjusted timelines.
Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady says the news is disappointing, but says it’s a positive sign that the project is deferred rather than outright cancelled during such a tumultuous time.
Ball urged the federal government to take quick action on financial support for provinces, but said Ottawa should not respond with a one-size-fits-all approach.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2020.
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