The province’s Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady addressed, among other topics, the future residency of the Bull Arm fabrication site on Monday.
In her speech at the Clarenville Chamber of Commerce luncheon, in conjunction with the Clarenville Rotary Club, Coady provided an update for the Nalcor Energy site, referencing the current tenant — a short-term contract with DF Barnes and Seadrill on the West Aquarios rig — and the four proponents for future occupancy of the site.
“(Nalcor) has been dealing with those four proponents to consider what we should be doing with Bull Arm,” Coady said to those in attendance.
She added that with the development of deep water drilling off the Grand Banks for oil, as opposed to rigs that operate in shallower ocean water, more floating structures will be required in the future.
“Nalcor is talking to some proponents on whether that could be a supply and service base, as we move forward with some of the developments we see in the offshore,” she said. “That will give long-term, permanent, stable employment to the area.”
She noted by having the supply and service centre at Bull Arm it would bring lay down area for the offshore, a lot of supply and service industry, rig servicing, supply boats and more.
Coady says there are still discussions ongoing, as there would be no opportunity to work on the large-scale gravity based structure rigs if there was an established supply and service centre on site.
During the question and answer period, Coady also pledged to talk about having the proponents consult with the Town of Clarenville itself, something that hasn’t been done during the decision-making process thus far.
As far as a timeline, Coady says they don’t want the condition of the site itself — like offices and apartments — to deteriorate as it sits vacant.
“That’s why we’re looking at these other opportunities.”
In the meantime, Coady says she expects the short-term contract with DF Barnes and Seadrill to continue until early spring at the site.
Short-term contract awarded to Bull Arm fabrication site for work on ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig