Hibernia South flowing by mid-year

Moira Baird
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The Hibernia oil production platform.

The Hibernia South oilfield is expected to start production by mid-year once a single well is drilled from the platform that sits on the Grand Banks seabed.

Hibernia Management and Development Co. (HMDC) confirmed oil will flow sometime during the second quarter — which runs from April to June — from the southern part of the field, estimated to contain about 260 million barrels of crude.

“We will drill a production well from the platform and it will produce this year, but it won’t have an injector well to support it until the injector wells are drilled,” said an

emailed response from HMDC spokeswoman Margot Bruce-O’Connell.

HMDC did not provide a timetable for drilling that production well.

Water-injector wells use sea water to stimulate the flow of oil from the seabed.

Production from Hibernia South had previously been slated for 2013, or sooner.

Last month, Hibernia partner Suncor Energy revealed what sooner meant. In its year-end financial report, the company said production was expected by mid-year.

Ten wells for Hibernia South

In all, the Hibernia partners expect to drill up to 10 wells as part of the $1.74-billion development of the oilfield’s southern extension.

Of those, half will be oil producers and the rest will be water-injector wells.

The five oil producers will be drilled from the Hibernia platform’s rig, while the water-injectors will be done by a mobile drilling rig to be hired in 2012.

The Hibernia partners are currently looking for a rig to carry out that work.

Drilling of the water-injector wells won’t begin until 2013 and it will take almost two years to complete all five.

That work is expected to cost about $1.1 billion, according to HMDC’s development plan filed last year with the offshore regulator.

A portion of Hibernia South, known as the AA Block, started production in November 2010.

The block is covered by the original production licence and ownership structure for the oilfield that pumped first oil in November 1997.

The province has no equity stake in the AA Block.

Nalcor Energy holds a 10 per cent ownership stake in the rest of Hibernia South.

The other Hibernia South partners are ExxonMobil, Chevron Resources Canada, Statoil Canada and Suncor.

mbaird@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Hibernia, HMDC, Management and Development Co. Suncor Energy Chevron Resources Canada Statoil Canada

Geographic location: Hibernia South

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