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Equinor files description for Bay du Nord; anticipates first oil from Newfoundland offshore project by mid-2020s pending investment decision

Unni Fjaer.
Unni Fjaer. - Kenn Oliver

Equinor Canada has taken a significant first step in its assessment of the Bay du Nord prospect in the Flemish Pass Basin.

At Noia’s 34th annual conference Thursday, Unni Fjaer, the company’s vice-president of offshore Newfoundland, announced the company filed a project description with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA).

Included in the description are three key pieces of information.

First, based on several drilling programs that began in 2013 when the initial discovery was made, Equinor estimates the recoverable reserve at Bay du Nord and adjacent parcels at Bay de Verde and Baccalieu at 300 million barrels of oil.

“The second is that we have decided that an FPSO (floating production storage and offloading) will be the installation that's best suited for that environment,” Fjaer says, noting that the FPSO will be built new.

Third, if the company gives the project a green light and makes an investment decision, first oil could be achieved in the mid 2020s.
“It's dependent on this final investment decision and we believe that's still a couple of years before we are there.

“We need to work really hard to make this project as good as it can get in order to compete in our global portfolio.”

As for the other discoveries where Equinor — formerly Statoil — is an operator, Mizzen and Harpoon, Fjaer says there are no concrete plans for further exploration.

In other industry news, Anita Perry, BP Canada’s vice-president of communication and external affairs and Atlantic Canada regional manager, says that company has started work on an environmental impact assessment submission to CEAA for an exploration well in the West Orphan Basin.
“Our current plans, pending regulatory approval, are to drill a well in the West Orphan Basin in 2020. We anticipate early stages of a procurement plan later this year, so watch for this face and you'll see us around.”

BP, a relative newcomer to the region, has interests in 14 offshore licenses between this province’s offshore area and in Nova Scotia’s Scotia Basin. Eight are operated by the company, with the remaining six operated by industry partners.

The company has already started drilling in the Scotian Basin.

kenn.oliver@thetelegram.com
Twitter: kennoliver79

NOTE: This is a corrected version of the story.

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