Norway’s Statoil, Britain’s BP and BG, and the US’ Chevron and ExxonMobil were all winners when offshore Canada oil exploration licences were awarded on Thursday.
The areas covered are offshore from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia on the country’s east coast.
The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board said it had awarded seven parcels worth a combined $1,204,953,713.
Two deepwater parcels awarded by Nova Scotia’s regulator, both to Statoil, were valued at $82m.
The Newfoundland offshore fields in question are estimated to contain around 12bn barrels of oil.
Environmentalists raised concerns about the awards, warning of the potential damage to local fisheries.