ontario news watch

Without shareholder agreement on its future, N.L.'s Terra Nova oilfield may shut down

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The head of the union representing workers at the Terra Nova oilfield off the coast of Newfoundland says he’s worried about the economic ripple effects if the field is abandoned.

Unifor Local 2121 president Dave Mercer said today he knows of 11 oil worker families who have moved out of the province in the last six months because the outlook for the field remains grim.

The head of Suncor Energy, the project’s main operator, said Wednesday a complete shutdown is increasingly possible for the oilfield that sits about 350 kilometres southeast of St. John’s.

Suncor president Mark Little says his company wants to complete work that would extend the life of the field by a decade, but not all shareholders are on board.

He says the window to do the work is closing, and a decision on whether to abandon the field will be made on June 15.

Mercer says if Suncor pulls the plug, thousands of people will be affected, and he says he worries the operators of the West White Rose offshore oil project, whose future is also unknown, will follow suit.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press