A lawyer representing the Norwegian energy firm behind a proposed offshore oil project in Newfoundland and Labrador says the company is only responsible for the immediate environmental impact of the project itself.

Environment groups and eight Mi'kmaq communities in New Brunswick are asking the Federal Court this week to overturn Bay du Nord's federal approval for using a flawed environmental assessment.

They say the review didn't look at the end-use greenhouse gas emissions from the oil Bay du Nord will produce or the marine impact of extra oil tankers in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Equinor's Canadian lawyer told the judge today neither of those are within the direct scope of the project and were rightfully not considered.

The groups opposing the project say in 2018 the Federal Court of Appeal overturned approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline in part because it failed to fully consider the impact of oil tankers on killer whales.

Equinor's lawyer says unlike Trans Mountain, the Bay du Nord project has multiple options for routes to ship the oil and there is no certainty yet on who will buy it or where it will go.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2023.