Newfoundland Natural Resources Minister Tom Marshall said the Hibernia, Terra Nova and White Rose basins off the eastern coast are past their prime. More interest is needed from the industry to help the area recover.
"There are a number of large oil companies that are not represented in our offshore, and we would like to attract them here," he told The Financial Post newspaper Sunday. "We are getting three to four exploratory wells a year and we would like to see more."
Crude oil production from offshore Newfoundland declined from 370,000 barrels per day in 2007 to below 200,000 bpd last year because of maintenance issues.
Chevron Canada Ltd., ExxonMobil, and their partners agreed to build a project off the coast that could add another 150,000 bpd to the region's capacity by 2017. Trevor Giles, chairman of Newfoundland & Labrador Oil & Gas Industries Association, said the pace of regional development was far behind its peers.
"It could be a little bit of a starving industry," he told the newspaper.