“Land sale” is the conventional term for the bidding undertaken for oil and gas exploration permits, under the CNLOPB’s land tenure system.
To begin the process, the board is calling for companies — between now and April 30 — to submit nominations for areas of interest where licences might be put up for bid.
It may stop there, if there’s no interest.
If there’s enough interest to move the process forward, the board will send out another call for companies to nominate parcels within the identified areas.
Finally, there will be a call for the submission of bids for the rights to explore the nominated parcels.
The entire process means the board would be in a position to issue new exploration licences in January 2020.
In addition to the call for offshore Labrador, a call has been issued for interest in the southeastern Newfoundland offshore region. That area is away from current oil activity in offshore Newfoundland, just outside the 200-mile limit.
In both cases, the time frame is meant to provide oil companies with enough lead time to gather and evaluate relevant information — given there is little to no activity in the areas at present.
As for bids, a total of roughly $600 million in exploration spending was committed in December, in the last round of licence awards, with licences being issued in the active Jeanne d’Arc Basin and the highly prospective Flemish Pass Basin.
Further information is available through the CNLOPB website, www.cnlopb.ca