Bay du Nord oil ‘in next decade’

Oil in sight: Bay du Nord off Canada

Statoil’s Bay du Nord discovery off eastern Canada could start production in the next decade, according to local drilling partner Husky Energy.

The find, situated in the Flemish Pass basin off Newfoundland & Labrador, may start flows in the early part of the 2020s, Reuters cited Husky’s senior vice president for the Atlantic region, Malcolm Maclean, as saying at an investor presentation.

Bay du Nord is Statoil’s third major discovery off Atlantic Canada since the Mizzen discovery in 2009. Bay du Nord was discovered in 2013 along with Harpoon.

Statoil is the operator of all three discoveries with partner Husky. In March the Norwegian state player secured the Seadrill semi-submersible West Hercules to carry out appraisal work in the Bay du Nord area.

The 18-month drilling programme in the Flemish Pass will begin in autumn after the rig finishes operations for Statoil in the Barents Sea.

Statoil affirmed in early May that a disconnectable floating production platform is preferred to develop the deep-water discovery about 500 kilometres off Canada.

Floating platform designers are already marketing concepts including semi-submersibles with quick disconnect ability to flee icebergs that escape Statoil’s net. Bay du Nord will float in about 1100 metres of water.

Statoil will need to implement an ice management programme to corral icebergs that loom nearby; about 1000 icebergs make the voyage from off Greenland to the Grand Banks every year.

The target depth for many of the wells is about 2800 metres so it is expected that the West Hercules should take fewer than 90 days to drill each well.

Statoil has already identified Mesquite, Gooseberry, Bay d’Espoir and Bay du Verde as exploration prospects in the area.

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