Norway, Newfoundland & Labrador Keep Arctic Exploration Alive

HOUSTON—Some energy companies chasing potential hydrocarbon bounties in a region commonly known for its harsh environment, high price tags, infrastructure needs and environmental sensitivity are finding success and progressing multibillion-dollar projects.

Projects like the Equinor-operated Johan Castberg development in the less harsh Barents Sea and Bay du Nord discovery in the Flemish Pass Basin offshore Newfoundland in the Atlantic Ocean highlight the Arctic region’s potential. The region, which continues to compete with onshore areas for investment dollars, still has its challenges but has managed to attract players, according to panelists speaking Nov. 5 at the Arctic Technology Conference.

“The change for us has been increased investments and knowledge of our prospectivity,” said Doug Trask, assistant deputy secretary of royalty and benefits for Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Natural Resources. “Prior to the last five or six years we were not investing and the awareness was not there of how many basins we had and what the size of some of those potential discoveries were.”