Natural resources news from Atlantic Canada

Hebron moves forward
GBS construction already underway, topsides fabrication later this year

ExxonMobil Canada has green lit a multi-billion-dollar offshore oil project. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board says the Hebron Project contains about 700 million barrels of oil sitting 350 kilometres southeast of St. John’s.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale hailed the January announcement as “great news” that will bring thousands of jobs to Newfoundland and Labrador. The decision ensures construction and fabrication of the platform, and commits to future drilling and production of the Hebron field, she said.

“Our goal has been to ensure that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are the main benefactors with respect to our natural resources, and that the development of Hebron maximizes benefits for the people of the province,” she added.

Hebron will deliver an estimated $23 billion in revenues and royalties to the government and employ 3,500 people at its peak.

Lynn Evans, public and government affairs advisor for ExxonMobil Canada, said it’s good news for the whole province.

“The royalties and taxes generated from the Hebron Project will help fund provincial infrastructure, social programs, and services for the lifespan of the project,” she told Natural Resources Magazine.

Evans said significant progress was made on detailed engineering in 2012 and they will further that in 2013. “Construction of the gravity-based structure has already begun at the Bull Arm fabrication site, and we anticipate commencing fabrication of the topsides in 2013,” she said.

The Hebron production facilities will be able to handle the predicted production stream for more than 30 years.

The Hebron field is second only to Hibernia in scale of discoveries in the province’s offshore. The Hebron Project partners include ExxonMobil Canada Properties, Chevron Canada Resources, Suncor Energy Inc., Statoil Canada and Nalcor Energy Oil and Gas.

Evans said two of the three modules related to Hebron will be built in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mike Critch of the Newfoundland & Labrador Oil & Gas Industries Association said his members were looking forward to working toward the next milestones, including a 2017 target for the first oil production.

“NOIA members have a stake in the responsible development of the province’s offshore oil industry that enables the local business community and workforce, as well as the province’s capability to grow dynamically with each project,” he said.

By Jon Tattrie

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