2013 was a busy year. In January and in March, Shoal Point Energy and Black Spruce Exploration applied to the Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to conduct exploratory onshore to offshore drilling using hydraulic fracturing in the Port au Port region and in the region stretching from the Bay of Islands to north of Gros Morne National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. During 2013, a Strategic Environmental Assessment for the western Newfoundland offshore area of the Gulf of St. Lawrence was conducted. Prior to the completion of the SEA, a call for bids was issued to explore parts of the Gulf of St. Lawrence for oil and gas. Throughout 2013, concerned citizen groups across the west coast of Newfoundland organized presentations, public forums, and a range of events on hydraulic fracturing. A national CPAWS campaign to protect Gros Morne National Park from industrialization around its borders was launched. Finally, in November, the Provincial Government issued a statement that no applications to conduct hydraulic fracturing would be accepted and that the government would conduct an internal review. Citizen groups, members of the public, and organizations with concerns regarding hydraulic fracturing in Newfoundland praised the government for taking a precautionary approach and issued calls for an independent, non-industry, science-based review of hydraulic fracturing that includes transparent and extensive public consultations and a health impact assessment. In January 2014, one of the exploration licenses (EL 1097R) expired, and the government refused to provide an extraordinary license extension to Shoal Point Energy and its partner Black Spruce Exploration. However another company could apply for this license in the future. Shoal Point Energy, Black Spruce, and Enegi Oil continue to hold licenses along the west coast of Newfoundland (such as EL 1116, EL 1070, and EL 1120), and are moving forward with proposals to conduct exploratory drilling.
The following is an archive of selected media coverage during 2013: Archive_Selected_Media_Coverage_2013