Companies in the oil and gas sector will be spending big money following the sanctioning of the Hebron project earlier this week.

With project operator ExxonMobil and its partners now committed to investing billions of dollars in the project, local companies hoping to cash in can start making investments of their own.

Michael Critch, chair of Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association, says it will translate into years of stability for the industry.

"What we'll see from now on is the lack of risk," Critch said. "Business can invest, spend their money, employ more people, build capacity and capability for island businesses."

He also said it was a good step for NOIA members.

"It's also good news for NOIA's membership and the business community in general because now we know we can work for the next five years to seven years with the oil and gas companies to build more capability in the province."

The decision to sanction the project was made on New Year's Eve. The total costs of the project have been projected in the $20-billion range over the life of the project.

Hebron is expected to employ approximately 3,500 people at the peak of construction in 2014. The first oil is expected to be produced by 2017.

Workers needed to build site

Now that the Hebron project has been given the green light, the pressing concern is filling the jobs.

This issue is on Finance Minister Tom Marshall’s mind, although he says it is an enviable position to be in.

"There's going to be massive demand for jobs for Hebron, and with Muskrat over and above the massive demand that's there now, our biggest problem, who would have though this ... is finding the people to fill all these jobs.

"Who would have thought that would be a problem in Newfoundland and Labrador?"

Construction is already well underway at the Bull Arm fabrication site.