Oil & Gas on Canada’s East Coast
The search for oil has been forefront on the minds of explorers in Atlantic Canada for almost 200 years. The first oil seep was seen at Parsons Pond in 1812 on Newfoundland’s West Coast. Onshore drilling began in Atlantic Canada in 1867 and first offshore wells were drilled in the 1940s. The first offshore project in Atlantic Canada was Cohasset Panuke, discovered in 1973 it produced oil from 1992 -1997.
Newfoundland & Labrador
currently has four producing projects, two in the works and a number of exploration projects ongoing. Hibernia, the first offshore project, was discovered in 1979 and began producing oil late in 1997. Since that time there have been three additional projects: Sable (a natural gas project offshore Nova Scotia) began producing gas in 1999; Terra Nova, offshore Newfoundland & Labrador, produced first oil in 2002 and White Rose, also offshore Newfoundland & Labrador, had first oil in 2005.
With four stable, producing projects all eyes move to the horizon and further exploration. Two new projects are under development, Deep Panuke a natural gas field offshore Nova Scotia is expected to begin producing gas in 2011 and the Hebron project, a large offshore oil project in the Jeanne d’Arc basin, is targeting first oil for sometime in 2016-2017. The Development Plan Application is due to be submitted to the regulator by the end of 2010.
Activity continues at the producing projects offshore Newfoundland & Labrador, with two expansions underway, one at White Rose and another at Hibernia. The White Rose expansion project currently includes three
separate fields, the first of which will begin producing oil this year. The Hibernia Southern Extension is underway, with part of the field already on stream and
As activity continues full speed ahead locally, the oil and gas community is focusing its attention further afield, to frontier regions in the Arctic. Having developed world class expertise in harsh environments it is time to take our experience and apply it to fields formerly considered too remote and difficult to be commercially viable. The success of the Jeanne d’Arc and Sable basins have illustrated that no matter how remote or harsh the environment our local industry can overcome the challenges to produce efficiently, effectively and safely.