Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s Terra Nova oilfield has new life after a restructuring agreement was reached on Wednesday. The seven owners of the offshore oilfield will shuffle their shares and provide short-term funding for the project, according to a news release from Suncor Energy.
Though “not a guarantee, [the agreement] sets a path forward in the next few months to secure a return to operations for many years to come,” Suncor CEO Mark Little said.
In addition, Suncor announced that it has increased its minority ownership in the project 38 per cent to 48 per cent, as part of the ownership restructuring. Although the full ownership framework has not yet been revealed, CBC News confirmed that four partners, ExxonMobil, Equinor, Mosbacher and Chevron, had decided to exit the partnership.
The new agreement must still be approved and finalized, as it is contingent upon the provincial government fulfilling its promise of more than $500 million in cash and royalty adjustments.
The project’s restructured partnership will make a decision this upcoming fall about proceeding with the work required to extract the remaining 80 million barrels of oil from the sea bed.
Premier Andrew Furey and Energy Minister Andrew Parsons issued a joint statement, saying they were happy with Wednesday’s news.
“We are optimistic that there will be even brighter days ahead for the employees and our province,” they said. iPolitics has more.
After a U.S. federal judge in Louisiana ordered an end to President Joe Biden’s pause on the auctioning of new oil and gas leases, U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced that her department will be reviewing the decision.
“Our department is reviewing the judge’s opinion as we speak and consulting with the Justice Department,” said Haaland, who was testifying before a Senate subcommittee about the Interior Department’s budget.
Louisiana and 12 other states that support drilling on federal lands sued the Biden administration, claiming the suspension was against the law and would cause economic damage and kill jobs. Reuters has more.
Elsewhere, six climate activists and two environmental organizations are taking Norway to court over the Scandinavian country’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic, which they argue is harmful to young people’s futures. Norway is Europe’s second-largest oil and gas producer, and said last week that although it was investing in hydrogen and offshore wind for its green energy transition, it would continue to extract oil until at least 2050 and possibly beyond.
The case follows a recent decision by a court in the Netherlands that ordered Shell to cut its carbon emissions by 45 per cent from 2019 levels by the end of 2030. The Guardian has the full story.
Staying in Norway, three Norwegian labour unions have reached a wage agreement with the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, preventing the outbreak of a strike that would have interfered with exploration activities. The Industri Energi, Safe and DSO labour unions comprises more than 8,200 workers, who will get an average pay raise of 2.7 per cent as part of the new deal.
On Thursday morning at 9:18 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$71.96 and Brent Crude was going for US$74.03.
The federal government announced its plan to conduct an environmental review of any new coal project that could possibly release the contaminant selenium. Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said the decision will include any proposals regarding the eight coal exploration projects in Alberta’s Rocky Mountain foothills.
“For those projects that do have the potential to release selenium into waterbodies, I will be designating all such projects going forward for a federal review and assessment,” he said.
Selenium is common in coal-bearing rocks and is found throughout Alberta’s coal beds. In large quantities it is toxic to fish and difficult to manage once it gets into groundwater. The Canadian Press has the full story.
Meanwhile, for the first time in a decade, Nahanni National Park Reserve has developed a new management plan. The plan was tabled in the House of Commons last week and includes a number of recommendations regarding the inclusion of Dene people in all aspects of park stewardship, with the goal of protecting the park from ongoing climate change-related threats.
The Dehcho First Nations and Nahanni Butte, N.W.T., in partnership with Parks Canada, worked on the plan.
The 30,050-square-kilometre park extends past the South Nahanni River along the N.W.T.-Yukon border, and ends at the river’s confluence with the Liard River near Nahanni Butte, N.W.T. CBC News has that story.
Finally, the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) announced the election of a new chair on Wednesday. David Clarry, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for Hudbay Minerals Inc., will assume the position for a two-year term.
“As a longtime MAC member, I am honoured to be assuming the chair position at such an important time for Canada’s mining sector,” Clarry said.
Clarry will replace Gordon Stothart, president and CEO for IAMGOLD, who has served as chair since 2019.
Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$57.71 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$58.65 this morning at 9:18 a.m.