23 March 2007

Williams set local oil patch back 25 years

That's the view of one local oil industry executive who wished to remain anonymous in comments in The Telegram.
One offshore industry executive said the delay could cost hundreds of offshore jobs.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” said the executive, who did not want to be named.

“The net loss of jobs … could be up to 500 jobs.”

Those jobs include full-time rig crews, offshore supply boat crews, divers, well logging and testing personnel, weather observers and caterers.

“With no energy plan in place, no gas royalty regime in place, no Hibernia South, no Hebron and now no exploration activity — when are we going to see this industry develop?”

Another industry executive, who also didn’t want to be named, pegged the payroll loss of a rig, such as the Eirik Raude, at more than $1 million per month.

“It’s grossly disappointing.”

The executive also levelled criticism at Premier Danny Williams, saying he has set back the province’s offshore industry by 25 years.

That process started, said the executive, with the loss of the Hebron project and Hibernia South, and continues with the lack of a natural gas royalty regime to kick-start gas exploration by companies like ConnocoPhillips.

“As far as everyone is concerned globally, we’re not open for business. No one wants to deal with him,” said the executive.

“All he does is fight. The business community here is sick of it.”
The rest of the Moira Baird story is on the slowdown in drilling offshore Newfoundland the consequent job losses.

In the House of Assembly, Danny Williams dismissed the executive's comments as cowardly, since the individual did not wish to be named.

If the individual had let his name be used, what are the odds Williams would have laucnhed into a personal attack on the guy?

No takers on that bet?