Newfoundland celebrates as Hibernia produces one billionth barrel of oil

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. _ Newfoundland and Labrador is celebrating its one-billionth barrel of oil at the Hibernia offshore oil field.

Premier Dwight Ball says the province has come a long way since Hibernia began producing oil in November of 1997.

The Hibernia Management and Development Company says the life of the project is now projected to last beyond 2040.

The province currently has three producing offshore projects and it says the Hebron development is expected to begin oil production late next year.

Offshore oil royalties that once provided 30 per cent of provincial revenues have plunged to an estimated seven per cent at $502.1 million. A global supply glut has helped drive prices down from US$115 a barrel since mid-2014.

Newfoundland is now bearing the brunt of tax cuts and spending increases approved in fleeting boom times over the last decade.