06/17/2015 07:27 EDT | Updated 06/17/2016 05:59 EDT

'Harsh Realities' Face Newfoundland Oil Site Development, Statoil Says


ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The vice-president of North American exploration for Statoil ASA of Norway says development of the remote Bay du Nord site faces "harsh realities" in a climate that is not business as usual.

Jez Averty (AH-ver-tee) told an international oil and gas conference in St. John's, N.L., that only the most competitive projects will attract evaporating investment dollars.

Averty says Bay du Nord can be a winner, but it will take co-operation and mutual respect among all industry players.

He says Statoil is committed to continuing those talks but offered no hint that a deal is imminent.

Premier Paul Davis made headlines Tuesday when he said he's optimistic a term sheet to develop the prospect can be reached "in coming weeks."

The parcel in the Flemish Pass about 500 kilometres east of St. John's lies in 1,100 metre of water.

It was billed as the largest global find in 2013 with an estimated 600 million barrels of recoverable light crude.

Statoil said earlier this year that Newfoundland is a major exploration focus but that any decision on development of Bay du Nord was likely months or years off.

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