Calgary-based Husky Energy Inc. (HUSKF)
said it will spend $298.5 million on its East Coast operations
, including exploration and that it had acquired rights to two more parcels in the Jeanne D'Arc Basin, the area in which its White Rose project is located. Husky has promised to spend $31.1million over the next five years in those newly acquired areas, accounting for the large majority of the $33.8 million bid in exploration rights in the 2005 sale. The company's effort for this year includes work to delineate the reservoirs feeding the White Rose project, which began producing oil late last year. Discoveries on that part of the effort could be tied into existing infrastructure. The company has hopes of a major discovery that could justify a third project, in addition to White Rose and Husky's one-eighth stake in Terra Nova. There could be substantial competition for the equipment if the surge in seismic data collection last year translates into exploration activity this coming drilling season. The amount of three-dimensional seismic data collected last year nearly quadrupled, rising to 372,891 common midpoint kilometers from 101,382 in 2004. Last year's seismic effort shattered the previous record, set in 2000, and is seen in Newfoundland as an early sign of a strong pace of investment by the oil industry.