© Adam Harnum
Geophysicist Michael Enachescu delivers his presentation at the 8th International Symposium on the Oil and Gas Resources of Western Newfoundland at Humber Valley Resort on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013.
CORNER BROOK — There are a lot of companies out there that want to be the one to find the breakthrough discovery that launches a productive oil and gas industry in western Newfoundland.
Many of those have been regular participants in the annual international symposium on the region’s oil and gas resources, the eighth version of which wrapped up at Humber Valley Resort after two days of presentations and discussions Thursday evening.
Michael Enachescu, a geophysicist with MGM Energy in Calgary, said the western Newfoundland symposium is unique in the way it brings all the competing players together.
“This symposium is essential,” Enachescu said after delivering his presentation on the new opportunities for exploration in the Anticosti and Magdalen Basins in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
“As someone who goes to many symposiums and conferences, this is kind of original because it is very collegial and done in a very friendly atmosphere.”
He has attended nearly every one of the symposiums held in western Newfoundland and said it has become the place for a great exchange of ideas about the region’s onshore and offshore potential.
The publishing and presentation of new information all helps move forward the collective hope among delegates of developing a full-fledged industry.
“The oil business is renowned for having strong competitors,” said Enachescu.
“At the same time, the geoscientists who are at the base of finding the oil and gas are a different species. They like to talk and exchange information and learn from each other. This is the right forum for that.”
Enachescu said he looks forward to sharing anything new he has found out and hearing everything the others have to bring to the table at the symposium.
In his own presentation, Enachescu discussed the call for bids to explore tracts in the Anticosti and Magdalen Basins. The call was made in May and, after more environmental assessment work gets done, a closing date will be announced for the bids.
The tracts up for grabs are impressive, he said, being more than 100 times the size of exploration tracts that have been made available in the Gulf of Mexico.
While it’s too early to tell just how much interest there will be in the tracts, Enachescu said they deserve the attention of both major international companies and the smaller players in the industry.
The large and small players should also be paying attention to what happens at the western Newfoundland oil and gas symposium, he noted.
“I think the ones that have to listen are the oil companies that have investors behind them,” he said. “What we are trying to do (at the symposium) is minimize the risk of these investors. That means minimizing the waste of money and, at the same time, looking forward and thinking how much a discovery would bring to this part of Newfoundland.”