16 February 2010

Hibernia South: the buried news

So the final legal agreements are signed.  Nothing has changed since the announcement of almost exactly the same details in June 2009.

So why the second announcement?

Poll-goosing, of course.

The only twist is that the provincial government is claiming they’ll make more money  - $3.0 billion - now than before.  There’s more money, though, simply because they changed the assumed price of a barrel of oil. 

Now anyone with a brain could tell you that isn’t news, nor is it any more reliable and factual than claiming the amount of money would be double the projection from last year.

CBC is reporting the $3.0 billion as if it was true/real.  VOCM attributed the cash – making their statement doubly false - to the equity stake.

As noted here last year, the bulk of the revenue – no matter what assumed price of oil you use – comes from one place and one place alone:  the 1990 Hibernia deal. You can see that pretty clearly when you look at the supporting documents.

Meanwhile, the two bits of real news in this have been lost.  Settling the transportation dispute will bring the provincial treasury about $120 million in one-time oil cash this year.  That will help with revenues that are still running below forecast.  Oil production in December was 2.0 billion barrels below production in the same time last year.

And in the other bit of real news: no oil from the extension until the third or fourth quarter of 2012.  The offshore board got the development application on 01 February.

Now if that wasn’t enough poll goosing, there’s also the announcement from the provincial government’s oil and gas company that drilling is starting on yet another parcel NALCOR bought on the Great Northern Peninsula.  Real oil companies tend not to make such a huge deal out of every exploration hole they spud.  Political ones do, though, especially when they have to help goose a poll for The Boss.

And on a related bit of poll goosing, former Peckford-era policy advisor Cabot Martin is all smiles as his company continues exploring for oil, too.



David123 said...

It is comforting to know that when our government feels it is time to boost their visibility in the electorate's eyes (including times like now, when they aren't actually doing anything at all), that they have such contempt for our collective intelligence that they manufacture a good news story, in this case by changing an input assumption that has no more predictive accuracy than any previous one, nor one that government has any control over, and turn it into a real event for which they deserve praise.

Within a flock of sheep, I guess there's no reason to doubt that within a given flock of sheep, there can be sheep that are even considered dumb by other sheep.

Mark said...

Is it really "contempt for our collective intelligence", or is it that they have a pretty accurate assesment of it?

Government's wouldn't pull these kinds of stunts if they didn't work.

Ed Hollett said...

gainesburgers are yummy treats.

WJM said...

Mangy dogs will eat anything.

Ed Hollett said...

If you look at today's coverage you will notice a pattern as to which outlets are more in tune with the 8th floor hype.

You will notice who added to the political torquing and the sheer bullshit.

Those two outlets didn't break the surgery story.

It isn't a coincidence.