The signing of an agreement for an extension to the White Rose oil field means a long-term range of benefits to the province, Newfoundland and Labrador's premier says.

Kathy Dunderdale was in Placentia Thursday to announce the new deal with Husky Energy to develop the White Rose extension project in Argentia.

According to Dunderdale, the extension project is expected to deliver over $3 billion to the province in the form of royalties, equity and corporate income taxes.

"With the necessary amendments to the agreement announced today, we're in a position to ensure royalties, employment and construction benefits for the extension project, and make sure that they are maximized for the people of the province," she said.

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Derrick Dalley says the extension project will bring new oil and gas technologies into the province. (CBC)

"Benefits for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will be significantly enhanced, compared to the original subsea concept in the 2007 agreement."

Dunderdale said securing the project for the province will secure the province a future in the oil and gas industry.

Derrick Dalley, who took on the role of Natural Resources minister on Wednesday, said the project will bring new technologies into the province.

"It is the first time in this province that a well-head platform has been used in our region. This development option demonstrates prudent resource development by increasing recoverable oil and extending the field's life, and I can tell you, in the industry this is extremely exciting," Dalley said.

"It's not only significant for White Rose, but it has the potential to impact future oil developments and opportunity to increase the recoverable oil in existing fields."

Strong development opportunities

Bob Cadigan, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association, said the new agreement will mean a lot more work and development opportunities for the people in the Argentia area.

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Bob Cadigan says the extension project will mean lots of employment opportunities for the Argentia area. (CBC)

"In addition to the jobs building the gravity-based structure, we'll also see jobs in fabrication to construct the living quarters," Cadigan said.

"If you look at some of the work that's been done around Hebron, they put some special training programs in for things like rebar construction, for example, so we would see Husky doing similar things and trying to take advantage of the labour force here. We're confident that the contractors will find the resources that they need," he added.

According to Cadigan, the new technology being used will suit the rough environment in the Atlantic.

"Essentially, it's a new method of extracting the resources. The well-head platform is a technology that's used elsewhere in the world, and considering our ice conditions and harsh environment, it's really a good solution for the offshore here," he said.

The deal still needs further approvals from the province and its partners. If approved by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, construction on the extension could start later in 2013.

If all approvals are met, Dunderdale said she expects first oil from the project by 2017.