The head of Newfoundland and Labrador's oil industry association says Statoil's newest discovery is great news for the province.

The most recent find for the Norwegian-based company is the third discovery in the Flemish Pass, located about 500 kilometres northeast of St. John's.

Bob Cadigan, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil & Gas Industries Association (NOIA), said the Bay du Nord find should be enough to turn heads overseas.

"We see one, two, a good year is four wells," said Cadigan.

"This year potentially, we'll have about five. Hopefully this will attract some international attention."

Cadigan cautions that even it the company moves ahead, production won't happen overnight.

"Really we're talking about potentially 10 years from a discovery to a development and first oil, and that would be a very, very short timeframe. So I think realistically, people have to understand it isn't going to happen tomorrow."

Statoil has been drilling in the deeps of the Flemish Pass Basin, in approximately 1,100 metres of water.

The semi-submersible rig, West Aquarius, drilled two successful wells at Bay du Nord and Harpoon at a distance and depth new to the local oilpatch.

Statoil Vice-president Geir Richardsen, in a Skype interview with CBC, said the exploration is paying off.

"It is great news for the larger Flemish where we believe there could be substantial hydrocarbons volume," said Richardsen.

"We are still in the operational phase, so the well isn't finished. But we wanted to do that to share this great news with the stakeholders and the community."

The question now is whether the find is commercially viable.

"Can we produce this — and when? I will just say that we will do our utmost to evaulate and appraise these discoveries. When that is done, it [will be] easier to answer that question," he said.

Statoil is the operator of Bay du Nord and Harpoon, with a 65 per cent interest. Husky Energy holds the other 35 per cent.