Overview of the New Legal Era for Development Projects in the Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore

  • Todd Stanley, Q.C.


Petroleum projects offshore Newfoundland and Labrador continue to hold promise. The 20-year history of these projects developed within a legal and regulatory context that is currently being overhauled. This article outlines key similarities among Newfoundland and Labrador’s original offshore petroleum projects, describing them as projects of a legal era that is drawing to a close. The article then proceeds to recount the key features of a new legal and regulatory landscape that the up-and-coming offshore petroleum projects will face. Major elements of this new legal era include: changes in supporting legal structure, shortened lead time between discovery and development, new entrants (including increased interest from major international companies), new locations, and changes to the environmental assessment regime.