Suncor Energy’s vice-president responsible for eastern Canada, Brent Janke, says there is potential for more oil from Terra Nova, but future production from that field and all others offshore Newfoundland and Labrador will be dependent on costs.
“There is untapped potential for more oil at Terra Nova. Developing an economic plan to capture and produce these smaller fields is a key focus area for Suncor and our partners in Terra Nova,” he told representatives on hand at the Noia oil industry conference in St. John’s Wednesday.
The Terra Nova field was discovered in 1984 and became the second oilfield to be developed in the province, after Hibernia.
In 2013, a re-evaluation set the total expected production from the field up from 419 million barrels of oil to 506 million barrels, according to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board figures.
Terra Nova has paid out about $6 billion in royalties and taxes to the province since first oil.
The additional 87 million barrels of oil means more revenues expected for the province, but also an extension to the expected end-date for the Suncor-led producer — from 2020 to 2027.
“In Terra Nova, we feel there is potential to recover more oil,” Janke said, at the podium inside the St. John’s Convention Centre.
The question is whether or not further oil will make sense to produce. To that, he warned about the affect of rising costs for production in the province’s offshore.
“We also need to recognize that cost will be a key consideration in decisions about future development,” he said.
“In fact, rising development costs may negatively impact ultimate development potential and benefits to the province.”
In 2014, Suncor’s plans for offshore Newfoundland and Labrador include a four-week maintenance turnaround for the Terra Nova FPSO, the field production vessel, scheduled to begin in August. It will be a return to the norm, after an extended 10-week maintenance period was conducted last year, reducing overall production for the year.
As well, the specialized light intervention vessel Skandi Constructor will be brought to the province for 40-day well maintenance campaign.
And the semi-submersible drill rig Henry Goodrich will be controlled by Suncor for most of the year. It will be used primarily for development drilling at Terra Nova.
In addition to being the operator of Terra Nova, Suncor holds a partnership interest in the West White Rose, Hibernia Southern Extension and Hebron projects. The company has also farmed into licences offshore Nova Scotia.