Thursday, August 23, 2007

N.L. announces $16B Hebron oilfield deal. Maybe.

I know, it is old news now, this story broke yesterday. I was sort of waiting to post about this until I had figured out how I felt about it. But it is clear to me that I will remain two minds on this one for some time now.

Don't get me wrong, I am mostly elated. On its face, this sounds like a wonderful coup! Finally Newfoundland is not being bent over the fence- it looks like we may actually be getting somewhere. Maybe regaining some autonomy and respect.

However wasn't this deal dead in the water last year? Didn't the oil companies want tax breaks in exchange for the equity stake? What happened to that demand? I know, we are going to put up more money now...but still.

Maybe I am just too cynical. Is it me or is this deal a little too close to the October provincial election? Perhaps I am worried that this, like other projects, will end up half in, half out of the province, with workers shipped in from all over the world. It could be the lack of details surrounding the deal that worries me; more to the point: what did we give up to get this memorandum? Or maybe it is because 2015 is a long ways away, who knows how much feces could hit the fan before then?

Its nerves. Yeah, nerves. I am just jittery because nothing is signed yet. Right?

It is more like I am scared to believe. I have heard this song before, heard it too often, for too long, from too many politicians. It goes a little something like this: "We will achieve economic self-reliance. We will bring our sons and daughters back home!"

And yet here I am.

So, congratulations on your recent win Danny Williams. Really. I hope this historic memorandum of understanding is everything you claim. But you will excuse me if I don't pack my bags just yet.

* picture from

1 comment:

WhitbyDude01 said...

For some reason I think this sounds legit to me. I like the fact that the intial proposal was rejected by Williams meaning that there was some real effort on the NL government's part to make this work. Plus as I understand it royalties to Newfoundland will increase as the price of oil increases under the new agreement. The province has also paid for a 4.9 percent equity stake which would is supposedly a great investment for the future.

The exact amount being paid to the Federal government is 7 billion while the province will receive 16 billion over the same 25 year period.

I often wonder about the difference between how the federal government works with Alberta and its oil sands and how it works with NL and its offshore oil. Alberta wouldn't stand for half the s$#t Newfoundlanders have had to put up with.