Province to establish oil and gas council by this summer
Leaders in the province's oil and gas industry are applauding a decision by the Newfoundland and Labrador government to establish an industry development council.
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"This is something we've been looking forward to for a while," said Raymond Collins, board chair for the Newfoundland Offshore Industries Association, better known as NOIA.
"We've been concerned that there's been a need for more collaboration in the industry," he added.
Premier Dwight Ball announced during the opening day of NOIA's annual conference in St. John's Tuesday that the council will be in place by this summer.
He said members will be comprised of representatives of the provincial government and those who work in the industry.
Members will be selected by the new independent appointments commission.
This year's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/noia2016?src=hash">#noia2016</a> being held at the new-look St. John's Convention Centre. <a href="https://twitter.com/NoiaPlayonEdge">@NoiaPlayonEdge</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcnl?src=hash">#cbcnl</a> <a href="https://t.co/qiGlFBAOSM">pic.twitter.com/qiGlFBAOSM</a>—@TRobertst
Part of campaign Red Book
Ball said the council's mandate will be to develop a long-term vision for the province's oil and gas sector.
He said it will create a transparent energy policy "focusing on building a more sustainable and competitive industry."
He added the idea is to ensure benefits from the oil and gas industry "align with your long-term vision and our long-term goals."
The creation of such a council is no surprise.
It was spelled out by the Liberals in their campaign Red Book during last fall's election.
Ball said more details of the council will be revealed by Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady when she addresses conference delegates on Thursday.
The province has been working closely with NOIA and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers on how the council will be structured, the premier said.
The creation of such a body comes as the industry continues to cope with a prolonged slump in oil prices.
This downturn has been especially challenging for Newfoundland and Labrador, since oil and gas is the largest industrial contributor to the province's gross domestic product.