US-based multinational oil and gas company ExxonMobil has said it will proceed with its plan to develop the Hebron oil field in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, offshore of Canada.
The company plans to spend nearly $14bn to construct the platform which is expected to have a daily production capacity of 150,000 barrels of oil.
The field is located at a water depth of 300ft in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin offshore of Newfoundland and Labrador, more than 350km south-east of the capital of St. John’s and 32km south-east of the company’s Hibernia project.
ExxonMobil Development Company president, Neil Duffin, said the Hebron project is one of several large-scale oil developments that the company plans to bring on stream in the next five years.
"ExxonMobil will employ its expertise in Arctic development and project execution to develop this world-class resource in challenging operating conditions," Duffin added.
With plans underway to start producing oil by the end of 2017 and explore more than 700 million barrels of oil, the field will be developed using a gravity-based structure that will be made of toughened concrete to survive sea ice, icebergs and meteorological and oceanographic conditions.
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The structure is currently being developed at the primary construction site in Bull Arm, Newfoundland and Labrador, while topsides fabrication is likely to commence by the end of 2013. Front-end engineering and design, as well as detailed engineering of the project, were completed in 2012, said Exxon.
Designed to store about 1.2 million barrels of crude oil, the base of the platform can also support an integrated topsides deck, which houses living quarters and facilities to carry out drilling and production. The governments of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador provided regulatory approval for the project in May 2012.
ExxonMobil Canada Properties, an ExxonMobil affiliate, will hold the operatorship of the project with 36% interest.
Other companies participating in the project include Chevron Canada, Suncor Energy, Statoil Canada and Nalcor Energy Oil and Gas, with 26.7%, 22.7%, 9.7% and 4.9% interests, respectively.
The company expects the project to generate employment for about 3,500 people during construction and provide significant benefits to the region.
Image: ExxonMobil building in Downtown Houston. Photo courtesy of WhisperToMe.