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ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. Image courtesy of SamHoustonBSA/Youtube.

ExxonMobil, along with its partners Suncor Energy and ConocoPhillips, won exploration rights for a 266,000 hectare parcel in offshore Canada Tuesday after placing a record $559 million bid.

Parcel 1 is located in the Flemish Pass about 310 miles northeast of St John’s, Newfoundland.

ExxonMobil holds a 40 percent interest in the parcel.

Calgary-based Suncor Energy and ConocoPhillips each hold a 30 percent interest.

Last year, Norway’s Statoil and Calgary-based Husky Energy found the Bay du Nord prospect in Parcel 1 with estimated reserves of about 600 million barres of light, sweet crude.

The promise of Bay du Nord has attracted other explorers to the area.

Although slumping oil prices have strained Newfoundland’s coffers government officials expect recent price volatility to have a minimal impact on long term offshore development plans.

“Prices in the short term can have an impact on investment, certainly. But the explorers in the offshore tend to have a very long view, and short-term oil prices really aren’t going to deter them too much,” president and CEO of the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association Robert Cardigan told CTV News.

The province had already been projecting a $461 million shortfall when its budget assumed prices of about $105 per barrel, the Winnipeg Free Press said.

A revised budget deficit has not been released yet.