Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Ottawa and Quebec are both expected to table legislation by the end of the year to jointly manage the petroleum resources in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Harper made the announcement in Sept-Îles this morning along with Denis Lebel, the federal cabinet minister responsible for Quebec's economic development.

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Could oil rigs like this one in Newfoundland and Labrador be seen in the Gulf of St. Lawrence soon? (Courtesy: Shipspotting)

Also in attendance was Quebec's junior transport minister, Jean D'Amour.

Harper said Ottawa and Quebec are well-positioned to table the legislative framework to implement an accord that was signed in 2011.

Ottawa estimates that the Gulf of St. Lawrence and surrounding areas have the potential for 39 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.5 billion barrels of oil.