Equinor is within days of launching an important exploration campaign offshore eastern Canada as it hunts for more resources to beef up its controversial Bay du Nord project, while ExxonMobil set to spud exploration probe this summer.

The development was given an environmental green light by the federal government earlier this month, much to the consternation of climate change activities, but to the relief of many in the oil-reliant province of Newfoundland & Labrador.