(St. John’s) Equinor is suspending development of its Bay du Nord oil project, which would open a fifth oil field off the island of Newfoundland.

The Norwegian energy giant said in a statement on Wednesday that it was postponing the project for up to three years.

The company says the project has seen significant cost increases in recent months, primarily due to volatile market conditions.

Trond Bokn, senior vice president for project development at Equinor, said Wednesday that the company would reevaluate the project and see if “further optimizations” could be made.

The federal government gave the project its environmental green light last April, but the company and its partners had not confirmed that they would put the full investment needed to see it through to development.

The company’s website indicates that prior to this postponement, the Bay du Nord project was expected to produce its first barrel by 2030.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil and gas regulator said in February that there were about 979 million barrels of recoverable oil in this Bay du Nord region.