ExxonMobil moves ahead with Hebron oil field development

ExxonMobil Corp. reported it will develop the Hebron oil field offshore Newfoundland and Labrador using a gravity-based structure that will recover more than 700 million bbl of oil, an increase over earlier estimates.

Hebron lies in 300 ft of water in the Jeanne d'Arc basin more than 200 miles southeast of the capital of St. John’s and 19 miles southeast of ExxonMobil’s Hibernia project. The field will be developed using a stand-alone gravity-based structure consisting of reinforced concrete designed to withstand sea ice, icebergs, and meteorological and oceanographic conditions.

The base will be designed to store 1.2 million bbl of crude oil and will support an integrated topsides deck that includes a living quarters and drilling and production facilities. The platform is being designed to produce 150,000 b/d of oil. Oil production is expected to begin by yearend 2017.

Construction of the gravity-based structure is under way at the project’s primary site in Bull Arm, Newfoundland and Labrador. Topsides fabrication is expected to begin later this year.

“Hebron is one of several large-scale oil developments that ExxonMobil will bring on stream in the next 5 years,” said ExxonMobil Development Co. Pres. Neil W. Duffin.

Hebron’s development will provide employment for as many as 3,500 people during construction in the province, ExxonMobil said. The project received regulatory approval from the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador in May.

ExxonMobil estimates capital costs for the project to reach $14 billion.

Hebron will be operated by ExxonMobil affiliate ExxonMobil Canada Properties, which holds 36% equity in the project. Other Hebron partners are Chevron Canada Ltd. 26.7%, Suncor Energy Inc. 22.7%, Statoil Canada 9.7%, and Nalcor Energy Oil & Gas 4.9%.

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