Equinor is set to issue bid documents within days for critical engineering and construction work on a novel floating production, storage and offloading vessel that lies at the heart of the US$9.4 billion Bay du Nord project offshore Canada.

Bay du Nord aims to exploit almost 1 billion barrels of oil from the deep, harsh, iceberg-prone waters of the Flemish Pass basin in Newfoundland & Labrador using a newbuild FPSO, with first oil scheduled for 2028 or 2029.

The project stoked controversy last year when Canada’s federal government approved its environmental impact plan, and further challenges lie ahead due to its remote location, about 500 kilometres offshore.