Exploring for oil and gas offshore Canada is challenging, not only because of the harsh environment. According to John Efford, Canada's minister of natural resources, Canada is one of the worst countries in the world for regulations.
At a press conference at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston Tuesday, Minister Efford announced a major step that will improve this situation. The minister declared a five-year moratorium on import tariffs assessed on rigs brought into Canada, which will save operators on average $50,000/day in fees.
The minister said he hopes when this moratorium concludes, it will be followed by another five-year moratorium. The goal, he said, is to make it easier for companies to do business in Canada.
Canada is competing with areas around the globe where permitting is carried out much more quickly. According to Efford, securing a drilling permit in Atlantic Canada can take two years. This time period is more than twice that of the next worst region, where permitting can take 300 days.
A federal decision has been made to amend the regulatory regime to entice investors to Canada.
"Canada is rich, rich, rich, in resources," Efford said. Only when significant changes have been made, however, will the country draw the investment dollars it needs to develop its resource potential.