The production, storage and unloading vessel as it had been envisaged by Equinor before the project was postponed last May. The Norwegian company is currently evaluating the option of leasing an existing vessel instead of building one.
What I can tell you is that if Bay du Nord sees the light of day, there will be a lot of jobs and a lot of revenue for the province. I am sure of it, assures Tore Løseth.
He adds that even if Equinor decides to rent a production vessel, there will be several opportunities for local builders to help manufacture the project's underwater components.
Equinor had also promised that Bay du Nord, thanks to cutting-edge technologies, would be the lowest-emitting project in the history of the Canadian oil industry. Tore Løseth argues that reducing emissions is still at the heart of the project, even if the company decides it is better to extract the black gold with an existing vessel.
Tore Løseth does not specify the current bill for the project. He also did not want to comment on potential production volumes. Before the Bay du Nord postponement, a shock decision that shook the local oil industry last May, Equinor estimated it was extracting 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
According to Equinor, the oil field in the Bay du Nord sector has at least 500 million barrels of recoverable oil. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board believes the deposit could contain up to 1 billion barrels.
Bay du Nord would be located 500 km east of Newfoundland in waters 1200 m deep. The four projects currently in production offshore the province are approximately 350 km east of the island, in waters only 100 m deep. Bay du Nord therefore represents a new frontier for the provincial oil sector. The future of the sector is closely linked to that of the project, according to experts.
Tore Løseth points out that exploration work is continuing to verify how much oil Equinor could recover from the project. The Hercules drilling rig, currently in Namibia, will be used next summer to drill a new exploratory well.
This is a signal that we still believe in Bay du Nord, he emphasizes. Such a drilling project is expensive.