Bids called for offshore exploration rights in Flemish Pass, Jeanne d'Arc regions
16 parcels up for grabs; deadline is November
Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore regulator is seeking more industry interest in oil exploration in the region, issuing two new calls for bids off Canada's East Coast.
The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board made the announcement this week.
The first call for bids consists of 13 parcels totalling nearly three million hectares.
Nine of those 13 parcels are in an area with no exploration licences granted to date. That region is northwest of the frontier Flemish Pass basin, which garnered significant interest in the last round of bids.
Four parcels in that first call for bids are adjacent to existing exploration licences in the Flemish Pass basin.
Another three parcels are being offered up in the more mature Jeanne d'Arc region, totalling over 350,000 hectares.
The deadline for bids in is November.
The sole criterion for selecting a winning bid is the total amount of money the bidder commits to spend on exploration of the parcel during the first period of a nine-year licence.
The minimum bid is $10 million in work commitments.
'One of the best frontier regions'
Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady said the province is hopeful of positive results from the new calls for bids.
"Offshore Newfoundland and Labrador is considered one of the best frontier regions in the world today with significant new basin areas and over 350 leads and prospects in our offshore defined to date from new seismic work," Coady said in a press release.
"We look forward to a positive call for bids and to continued exploration and development."
An independent resource assessment for new blocks in the eastern Newfoundland region is in progress.
The government said the results will be issued publicly ahead of the closing of this licence round.