A company's claim that it has received approval to drill for oil using the controversial hydraulic fracturing process on the west coast of Newfoundland is false, says the offshore petroleum board.
Shoal Point Energy issued a news release Wednesday stating its partner - Black Spruce Exploration - had received approval from the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to drill a new well on the Port au Port Peninsula.
But shortly after the company made the statement, the C-NLOPB requested a retraction, saying no such approval had been granted.
The board said the company hasn't even cleared the first hurdle to drill, which is to get permission from the provincial environment department.
As requested, Shoal Point Energy issued a clarification later Wednesday stating its earlier claim of drilling approval was a mistake.
"The company wishes to clarify that Black Spruce Exploration has not received approval from the offshore regulator to drill a new well, as previously stated in error," Shoal Point said in an updated news release. "The C-NLOPB is awaiting completion of all necessary environmental assessments and the filing of appropriate application forms before it can commence its review.
"Shoal Point apologizes for any confusion which may have resulted from the original release."
The company also said its earlier statements were made "without the benefit of discussion with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, with which Shoal Point Energy has had no contact, formal or informal, on this particular subject."