The operator says that the deepwater Shelburne basin exploration program involves six exploration licenses, ELs 2423, 2424, 2425, 2426, 2429 and 2430, located around 250 km (155 mi) offshore, south of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Good for a period of six years, Shell acquired the first four exploration licenses in 2012 and the other two in 2013.
Shell Canada’s website said that the exploration project is set to determine the potential presence of hydrocarbons in the Southwest Scotian shelf, which has water depths ranging from 1,500 to 3,500 m (4,921 to 11,482 ft). Should approval be granted, Shell plans to drill two exploration wells in these ELs beginning in 4Q 2015.
The Stena IceMAX, a dynamically positioned mobile offshore drilling unit suited to the North Atlantic environment and deepwater depths will drill the wells.
In June 2014, Shell announced that ConocoPhillips and Suncor Energy had signed on as joint venture partners on the projects. At that time, the company said that it would maintain a 50% interest and the operatorship, with ConocoPhillips acquiring a 30% interest and Suncor acquiring a 20% interest.
Shell has already conducted a 3D wide-azimuth seismic survey of the area.