Trades NL, Global Industry Leaders Attend Norway’s 2022 Offshore Northern Seas Conference

For Immediate Release:

September 22nd, 2022 – Trades NL has concluded a successful business development trip to Stavanger, Norway, attending the 2022 Offshore Northern Seas Conference (ONS) held between August 29th and September 1st. The conference featured international leading industry voices, companies, project developers, and other special guests, including The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Federal Minister of Labour.

Focusing on energy, technology and innovation, representatives from Trades NL participated in many discussions surrounding offshore oil and gas, net zero and just transition opportunities alongside a delegation from Newfoundland and Labrador as well as others from across Canada.

Trades NL was particularly pleased to focus on conversations surrounding the upcoming Bay du Nord Project, taking in a number of meetings with Minister O’Regan, industry leaders, and various other companies, including Aker and Equinor, to advocate for maximum local labour investments in the project.

“We were extremely proud to represent and showcase our members in Norway and contribute to the energy conversation on a more global scale,” says Trades NL’s Executive Director, Darin King. “We felt conversations on Bay du Nord were particularly productive, and it will come as no surprise that we are seeking the same local employment/benefits approach on this project from Equinor, who has a reputation of recognizing and valuing the maximization of local benefits and employment opportunities, as they do in Norway.”

King continued, “We have developed a highly skilled workforce – one with a record of high productivity and an exemplary safety record – through our work on past resource development projects, including the current West White Rose Project as well as all past oil development projects – and we are eager to participate in discussions to ensure we maximize every opportunity possible for work on topside, subsea, matting and commissioning here in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Equinor is proceeding with the development of the Bay du Nord project, with a recent call for Expressions of Interest in the project. In addition, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has indicated that it is waiting to recommence benefit agreement discussions with the company, in light of the fact that the original project has changed significantly in size and scope since its original announcement.

“Our province has to be prepared for the opportunities that lay before us and now is the time to have open, transparent discussions,” continues King. “We are currently in the process of reaching out for further discussions with government and Equinor in order to explore the numbers, and types, of skilled trades that will be required for this project and the types of work needed. This project offers exciting opportunities for our current skilled trades workforce, as well as for others who are looking to enter the skilled trades. The economic impact of maximizing local work content from this project can be tremendous, and we look forward to Equinor’s continued commitment to that philosophy.”

Highlighting the recently published NL Oil and Gas Industry Recovery Task Force Report, King indicated that several recommendations were made to improve these types of project discussions/negotiations, including (recommendation 22):

R22. Gov NL take the following steps to enhance local engagement in, and benefits from, the NL offshore oil and gas industry:
a) Increase inclusiveness and transparency in offshore project benefits agreements negotiation process;
b) Support and encourage a more collaborative engagement of labour throughout the development and production cycle of offshore projects;
c) Work with labour and industry to develop best practices and guidance to provide work on future and existing offshore projects in NL and potentially with international customers to ensure a steady stream of labour required activity; and,
d) Clarify and clearly communicate benefits expectations.

To view a copy of the report click here (recommendations pg.22)


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Media Contact:
Shanelle Clowe
Communications Specialist

Trades NL is an umbrella labour organization which promotes and coordinates the interests of 16 building and construction trades unions, representing more than 18,000 skilled trades workers in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. For 70 years, our craft continues to construct, fabricate and maintain some of the world’s most complex facilities.

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