Offshore board seeking public comment on Hebron

Moira Baird
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Oil and gas

The offshore board wants your comments on the multibillion-dollar Hebron offshore oil project expected to pump first oil by 2017 at the latest.

The deadline for written submissions to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) is noon May 22.

The offshore board wants your comments on the multibillion-dollar Hebron offshore oil project expected to pump first oil by 2017 at the latest.

The deadline for written submissions to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) is noon May 22.

To develop the initial 566 million barrels of Hebron crude, ExxonMobil Canada proposes building a gravity base structure (GBS) similar to the one used to develop the Hibernia oilfield.

The lifespan of the Hebron oilfield is estimated at 30 years.

ExxonMobil, the lead partner in the Hebron project, triggered the environmental assessment when it filed a project description with the CNLOPB on March 5.

On Wednesday, the board and other agencies issued what's known as a draft scoping document, outlining the project and the environmental issues to be assessed.

Both the Hebron project description and scoping document are available on the CNLOPB website at www.cnlopb.nl.ca/new_whats.shtml.

They're also available by e-mailing: ead@cnlopb.nl.ca.

"The Hebron project will include activities associated with installation, drilling and production, maintenance, and decommissioning of a concrete gravity-based structure at the Hebron field, northeast Grand Banks," said a CNLOPB release.

ExxonMobil's environmental impact statement will cover two sites, with construction of the Hebron production platform scheduled to begin in 2012.

The first construction site is Bull Arm, Trinity Bay, which will be refurbished before construction of the GBS. There, the steel topsides and the concrete GBS will be "mated" before the platform is towed to the Hebron oilfield.

The Grand Banks oilfield is the second construction site, where the GBS will be installed on the seabed in 92 metres of water.

As part of the process, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) will make $30,000 available to help groups or individuals who want to take part in the Hebron environmental assessment.

Funding applications are due May 22. Additional information and the CEAA application form are available at: www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca.

CEAA administers the federal environmental assessment process.

That process identifies the effects of projects, such as Hebron, on the environment, such as fish and fish habitat, and the steps to be taken to mitigate those effects.

mbaird@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Geographic location: Hebron, Trinity Bay

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Recent comments

  • Hey We
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Well since Newfoundland ranked just ahead of PEI for the honours to call itself the second most polluted province in Canada, bring on the Hebron spills and the toxic sludge dumpings from Long Harbour. Union Made Pollution Ra! Ra! Ra!

    Maybe next year we can beat out PEI and claim top honours to the most polluted in Canada and not just a runner up.

  • oil and gas
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    here's some feedback:

    why hasn't the CNLOPB updated its information on several exploration wells that have passed their two-year deadline for info?

  • Jon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    That report was a pile of bull. It wasn't directed at naming the most polluted province, but the greenest province , taking into consideration things like waste management, water use, car dependancy, etc. And in many of those categories, we scored low. NL will never be as polluted as places in Ontario and Alberta. However, these provinces on doing much more in promoting public transit, waste management, recycling and other green initiatives.

    The report said research was conducted through a combination of online research and informal expert interviews, with the majority of data being collected from federal government websites and reports.

  • Michael
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I think the environmental assessment should be just fine. There shouldn't be any big surprises because this project is similar to the Hibernia project that has come before. Once the environmental assessment is approved then FEED(front end engineering and design) can start. Hebron is a gigantic project and the sooner this assessment is passed the sooner things can get started.

    Upon reading the posted Project Description there were a few things that caught my eye. Firstly, there will probably be more seismic surveys that will not only cover Hebron, but will also cover areas to the North, East, South, and West of the Hebron-Ben Nevis field. This could lead to more resources, satellite fields and extensions. Secondly, 80% of the estimated 566 million barrels of oil at Hebron will be produced only from the Ben Nevis reservoir. There are 3 other oil zones at Hebron that could produce a lot more oil( at this point there is not enough information to give a complete estimate), but that is for the Hebron team to find out. West Ben Nevis and Ben Nevis also have numerous oil and gas reservoirs, and some are quite large. Realistically, there are probably well over a billion barrels recoverable at Hebron-Ben Nevis and maybe more with any luck finding extensions, and satellite fields. Finally, the Project Plan talks about 13 pre-drilled wells that could be ready for hook-up and commisioning once the Hebron facility is towed out to sea and mated with the concrete structure. This is good news because it will create more employment while the GBS is being built, but most importantly it will help pay off the capital costs of the project more quickly, probably 5 times quicker(actually, not sure) than Hibernia.

    All in all, the Hebron project will be great for Newfoundland and I say BRING IT ON.

  • Brad
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    John we are well on our way to becoming like Ontario and Alberta. We waste water, we are totally dependent on cars, we have no recycling, we pump raw sewage into the ocean, we allow mining companies to dump heavy metals into our freshwater ponds and lakes, we will allow power transmission lines to run through world heritage sites, and we let industry wash its hands of site cleanup when they are gone, using diesel for power generation, destroying ecosystems with hydro dams, allowing oil companies to spill oil daily offshore with no consequences, shall I continue? We may not be as bad yet, but does that make it any better. Are you saying people shouldn't criticize us because there are worse provinces out there. I would say per capita, we are the most heavily polluted province in Canada, and Danny & Charlene will make sure of it that we get there.

  • Hey We
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Well since Newfoundland ranked just ahead of PEI for the honours to call itself the second most polluted province in Canada, bring on the Hebron spills and the toxic sludge dumpings from Long Harbour. Union Made Pollution Ra! Ra! Ra!

    Maybe next year we can beat out PEI and claim top honours to the most polluted in Canada and not just a runner up.

  • oil and gas
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    here's some feedback:

    why hasn't the CNLOPB updated its information on several exploration wells that have passed their two-year deadline for info?

  • Jon
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    That report was a pile of bull. It wasn't directed at naming the most polluted province, but the greenest province , taking into consideration things like waste management, water use, car dependancy, etc. And in many of those categories, we scored low. NL will never be as polluted as places in Ontario and Alberta. However, these provinces on doing much more in promoting public transit, waste management, recycling and other green initiatives.

    The report said research was conducted through a combination of online research and informal expert interviews, with the majority of data being collected from federal government websites and reports.

  • Michael
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    I think the environmental assessment should be just fine. There shouldn't be any big surprises because this project is similar to the Hibernia project that has come before. Once the environmental assessment is approved then FEED(front end engineering and design) can start. Hebron is a gigantic project and the sooner this assessment is passed the sooner things can get started.

    Upon reading the posted Project Description there were a few things that caught my eye. Firstly, there will probably be more seismic surveys that will not only cover Hebron, but will also cover areas to the North, East, South, and West of the Hebron-Ben Nevis field. This could lead to more resources, satellite fields and extensions. Secondly, 80% of the estimated 566 million barrels of oil at Hebron will be produced only from the Ben Nevis reservoir. There are 3 other oil zones at Hebron that could produce a lot more oil( at this point there is not enough information to give a complete estimate), but that is for the Hebron team to find out. West Ben Nevis and Ben Nevis also have numerous oil and gas reservoirs, and some are quite large. Realistically, there are probably well over a billion barrels recoverable at Hebron-Ben Nevis and maybe more with any luck finding extensions, and satellite fields. Finally, the Project Plan talks about 13 pre-drilled wells that could be ready for hook-up and commisioning once the Hebron facility is towed out to sea and mated with the concrete structure. This is good news because it will create more employment while the GBS is being built, but most importantly it will help pay off the capital costs of the project more quickly, probably 5 times quicker(actually, not sure) than Hibernia.

    All in all, the Hebron project will be great for Newfoundland and I say BRING IT ON.

  • Brad
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    John we are well on our way to becoming like Ontario and Alberta. We waste water, we are totally dependent on cars, we have no recycling, we pump raw sewage into the ocean, we allow mining companies to dump heavy metals into our freshwater ponds and lakes, we will allow power transmission lines to run through world heritage sites, and we let industry wash its hands of site cleanup when they are gone, using diesel for power generation, destroying ecosystems with hydro dams, allowing oil companies to spill oil daily offshore with no consequences, shall I continue? We may not be as bad yet, but does that make it any better. Are you saying people shouldn't criticize us because there are worse provinces out there. I would say per capita, we are the most heavily polluted province in Canada, and Danny & Charlene will make sure of it that we get there.