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.
East Coast Canada 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 later this year and Hebron, a large offshore
oil project in the Jeanne d’Arc basin, is targeting first oil sometime in
continues at the producing projects offshore Newfoundland & Labrador, with
two expansions underway, one at White Rose and another at Hibernia.
Development of the Hibernia
Southern Extension continues, with installation of subsea equipment this summer
and full production scheduled for 2014.
South White Rose – which has
just had its development plan amendment approved by the offshore regulator – is
the second planned expansion of the White Rose oilfield. The first satellite
development, North Amethyst, started production in 2010, while a development
options for a third expansion are under evaluation. West White Rose is
scheduled for first oil in 2016-17 using either a subsea tieback or a wellhead
As activity continues full speed ahead locally, the
oil & 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.