Bay du Nord biggest find outside Norway: Statoil

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Statoil’s lead for exploration off Canada, Geir Richardsen, says the company is confident in its early estimates of the amount of recoverable oil at the Bay du Nord discovery.

Statoil announced it has located an estimated 300 million to 600 million barrels of light, sweet crude at the prospect in Newfoundland and Labrador’s Flemish Pass basin, about 500 kilometres northeast from St. John’s.

The news went out earlier today, first to investors in Norway and then in North America.

Statoil announced a find at Bay du Nord this summer, but today marks the first indication of exactly how much oil might be available at the location.

“This is Statoil’s biggest oil discovery outside Norway ever,” Richardsen said.

“I believe it’s very important for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, but it’s also pretty important for us as a company. It is a milestone in our development as an international company. Great news.”

All current, producing oil projects off of Newfoundland and Labrador are located around the Jeanne d’Arc basin, about 350 kilometres from St. John’s. According to local industry players, the recent discoveries and numbers from Statoil make development in the deep water of the Flemish Pass more and more likely.

Not that development will happen tomorrow, or even in the next decade. Statoil has promised further exploration and delineation work at Bay du Nord and has stated a producing development may come post-2020.

The company is also still looking at its Mizzen discovery (with an estimated 100 million to 200 million barrels recoverable and its Harpoon prospect, with an estimate on oil there yet to be determined.

“We think we have to come back with an appraisal well at Harpoon to be sure of those numbers,” Richardsen said. “We know that Harpoon has the same reservoir and the same oil as Bay du Nord, which is really great news ... It’s really good oil. That we know.”

All three discoveries are in the Flemish Pass, where additional seismic testing and drilling is being planned.

“The discovery of oil in the Flemish Pass Basin is a game changer for Newfoundland and Labrador,” Natural Resources Minister Tom Marshall said in a statement issued by the provincial government following the Bay du Nord news.

“It proves there is oil in our province’s deepwater basins and it will encourage increased offshore exploration activity. This is one of the largest conventional oil fields to be discovered offshore Canada. We congratulate Statoil Canada and Husky Energy on their tremendous work in this area and their commitment to resource development in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore.”


By Telegram Staff

Statoil Canada and partner Husky Energy have announced that the first Bay du Nord exploration well off Newfoundland has discovered between 300 and 600 million barrels of oil recoverable.

The Bay du Nord discovery, located about 500 kilometres northeast of St. John’s, was announced in August. A sidetrack well has been completed this week and confirms a high impact discovery. Additional prospective resources have been identified which require further delineation.

The Bay du Nord discovery is Statoil’s third discovery in the Flemish Pass Basin. The Mizzen discovery is estimated to hold a total of 100-200 million barrels of oil recoverable. The Harpoon discovery, announced in June, is still under evaluation and volumes cannot be confirmed at this stage.

The Bay du Nord well encountered light oil of 34 API and excellent Jurassic reservoirs with high porosity and high permeability.

“It is exciting that Statoil is opening a new basin offshore Newfoundland,” Tim Dodson, executive vice president of Statoil Exploration, said in a news release. “This brings us one step closer to becoming a producing operator in the area.”

“With only a few wells drilled in a large licenced area, totalling about 8,500 square kilometres, more work is required,” adds Dodson. “This will involve new seismic as well as additional exploration and appraisal drilling to confirm these estimates before the partnership can decide on an optimal development solution in this frontier basin.”

The successful drilling results from the Flemish Pass Basin demonstrate how Statoil’s exploration strategy of early access at scale and focus on high-impact opportunities is paying off. As an early player in the area, Statoil has confirmed its understanding of the basin and has opened a new oil play offshore Canada. The Flemish Pass has the potential to become a core producing area for Statoil post-2020.

All three discoveries are in approximately 1,100 metres of water. Mizzen was drilled by the semi-submersible rig Henry Goodrich (2009). The Bay du Nord and Harpoon wells were drilled by the semi-submersible rig West Aquarius (2013).

Statoil is the operator of Mizzen, Harpoon and Bay du Nord with a 65 per cent interest. Husky Energy has a 35 per cent interest.

Organizations: Statoil, Husky Energy

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Boyd Winsor
    November 16, 2013 - 18:12

    Does the risk outway the profit or visa versa? That is the question.

  • Tony Rockel
    September 27, 2013 - 01:24

    What little revenue we get out of that will be swallowed up by Muskrat Folly.

  • Avalon Pothole Driver
    September 26, 2013 - 16:05

    Wow, 300 to 600 million barrel oil. 600 million barrel is enough to support the United States for 20 days.

  • Charles Juurlink
    September 26, 2013 - 14:23

    check this out

  • hua mulan
    September 26, 2013 - 10:10

    I remember reading a book ( yeah, once!) called 'are you running with me Jesus'....upon reading the headline, I said to myself, dear jesus, this means another letter in my mailbox of an immediate rent hike, and a measly bag of groceries will be up from 25$ to 30$ by month's dear jesu am i gonna keep golfin with my bar buddies, payin the exes , and the dayin, dayout joggin c/ the thunderdales after this? is becoming more, more of a four letter word...I should have joined politics, maybe becoming a senator

  • Steve
    September 26, 2013 - 08:17

    Yay oil! To quote Homer Simpson out of context, "the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems."