News Release Archive

The commitment by the proponents of the Sable Offshore Energy
Project to invest now in the start up of the drilling program,
"says a great deal about their confidence in the future of Nova
Scotia and this project," Premier John Savage said today.

The project participants announced that drilling contracts to
recover natural gas from near Sable Island have been awarded to
Rowan Companies Inc., Houston, Texas, and Santa Fe Drilling
Company (Canada) Ltd. The contracts are estimated to be worth
several hundred million dollars.

"Let there be no doubt --- today's commitment is a tangible sign
that this is a real project," the premier said. "We can bridge
the gap from cautious optimism to the prudent expectation that
remaining challenges can be addressed satisfactorily, and the
project proceed as planned."

Natural Resources Minister Eleanor Norrie said, "We are further
along in the development phase of our offshore natural gas
resources than at any time in our history."

Mrs. Norrie "praised the high level of cooperation, mutual
interest and business-like approach between all parties in this
exciting project --- Mobil, Shell, Imperial Oil, Maritimes and
Northeastern Pipeline and the Government of Nova Scotia, March
18, 1997 has the potential to be a very exciting day in the
history of Nova Scotia."

Drilling activities are scheduled to begin next year with the
Rowan Gorilla II arriving in Nova Scotia waters in April, 1998,
and the Santa Fe Galaxy II arriving in September, 1998.

"I am particularly pleased that this contract announcement
indicates more than 400 direct and indirect jobs for Nova Scotia,
and combined with local purchases and services in Nova Scotia,
will amount to close to $100 million into the Nova Scotia economy
over the life of this contract," Premier Savage said.

He said the announcement not only represents an act of faith in
the project, but serves as an example of how a significant
portion of the benefits of this activity will flow to Nova


Contact: David Harrigan     902-424-3750

         Maurice MacDonald  902-424-4426

trp                   Mar. 18, 1997 - 2:15 p.m.