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White Rose Oil and Gas Field, Canada




Key Data


The White Rose field is located 350km east of Newfoundland, approximately 50km from both the Terra Nova and Hibernia fields. It is operated by Husky Energy(68.875%) on behalf of Petro-Canada (26.125%) while the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, through the province’s energy corporation, holds an equity stake of 5%. Total capital costs were about $2.35bn.

Oil and gas reservoir

The area consists of several oil and gas pools in the Avalon formation sandstones, which were deposited during the early Cretaceous along a north-south trending shoreline roughly paralleling the eastern margin of the Jeanne d’Arc Basin. The White Rose oilfield development involves recovering an estimated 36 million cubic metres (230 million barrels) of 30° API oil from an area of approximately 40km².

The first three wells - N-22, J-49 and L-61 - were drilled between 1984 and 1986. White Rose E-09 well was drilled in 1987-1988 into the South Avalon oil pool and encountered over 90m of net oil pay. In 1999 and 2000, three additional delineation wells were drilled into the South Avalon, White Rose L-08, A-17 and H-20. A fourth well, N-30, was also drilled in 1999 into the North Avalon pool, downdip from the N-22 well.

First oil from the core field was achieved in November 2005. In 2007, production was about 42.8 million barrels, and production in August 2008 – which also marked the field’s 100-million barrel milestone – was quoted by Husky as 120,000 bpd. The life of the field is estimated at 12-15 years.

White Rose field development

The field has been developed from three or four drill centres on the seafloor, with production and water and gas injection wells located at each centre. These drill centres are located in excavated glory holes that lie below the seabed to protect the wells from iceberg scour.

Ongoing development plans envisage up to 10 to 14 production wells eventually. An additional eight to eleven gas and water injection wells have been drilled for resource conservation and to maintain reservoir pressure. The wells have been drilled in phases to bring White Rose satellite fields into production in late 2009 or early 2010.

FPSO facility

The drill centres are connected to a ship-shaped floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facility, the Sea Rose, with flexible flowlines and risers. The FPSO’s turret is designed to allow the facility to disconnect from the subsea drill centres and move in the event of an emergency.

This FPSO can store between 111,000m³ and 135,000m³ (700,000 and 850,000 barrels) of oil (approximately eight to ten days of oil production) and contains topside processing units, accommodation and a turret.

Main contractors

In April 2002 Husky awarded Samsung Heavy Industries of South Korea the contract to build the FPSO hull. The design is derived from the proven purpose-built Grand Banks shuttle tanker design and features an ice-strengthened double hull. It has dual conventional propulsion systems and two high efficiency rudders.

SBM IMODCO was given the contract for the turret and mooring system. The contract scope included the engineering, procurement, and construction of a disconnectable turret. The mooring system connects the turret to the seabed and allows the FPSO to weathervane around the turret while connected.

The contract for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of topsides was awarded to Aker Maritime Kiewit Contractors (AMKC), a joint venture of Peter Kiewit Sons Co. Ltd. and Aker Oil and Gas Technology Ltd. The topsides are designed to produce oil at a quality suitable for shipment by shuttle tankers to market.

Husky time chartered two newbuild shuttle tankers from Knutsen OAS to transport oil from the White Rose offshore project. Delivery of the Suezmax-size vessels, each with a one million-barrel capacity took place in mid-2005. The vessels were built by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea.

The Sea Rose FPSO on the water.
The Sea Rose FPSO.
The Tieback holes.
An approaching tanker.