Equinor, BHP enter new licenses offshore Canada

The West Hercules drilling rig. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

Norway’s Equinor and its partners were the successful bidders for new exploration parcels in the prolific Jeanne d’Arc basin, offshore Newfoundland. On the other hand, BHP Billiton was awarded two licenses in the Orphan basin.

Equinor said on Wednesday it will operate two exploration parcels, NL18-CFB01-14 (Equinor Canada 70%, Husky Energy 30%) and NL18-CFB01-15 (Equinor Canada 60%, Suncor Energy 40%), totaling 412,644 hectares (4,126 square kilometers).

Equinor will also participate in the Suncor Energy-operated parcel NL18-CFB02-01, totaling 142,500 hectares (1,425 square kilometers), (Suncor Energy 40%, Equinor Canada 30%, Husky Energy 30%).

“We are pleased to have secured significant acreage and new exploration opportunities offshore Canada. The successful bids aligns with Equinor’s strategy of developing our position in prolific basins,” said Tim Dodson, Equinor’s executive vice president for exploration.

“These exploration investments provide Equinor an important opportunity to advance our position in a region where we have a well-established exploration portfolio while we continue to evaluate and mature our existing exploration assets in the Flemish Pass Basin,” said Dodson.

Equinor has been active in Canada since 1996, and operates the 2013 Bay du Nord discovery, located in the Flemish Pass Basin. Equinor also holds an extensive exploration and partner-operated development position offshore Newfoundland, with partnership interests in the producing Hibernia, Terra Nova, and Hebron fields.

Two licenses for BHP 

In addition to Equinor and its partners, BHP Billiton was the successful bidder of two parcels offshore Canada, getting a 100% interest in each. BHP’s two exploration licenses for blocks 8 and 12 are located in the offshore Orphan Basin in Eastern Canada.

BHP’s aggregate bid amount of $625 million covers the drilling and seismic work required by the exploration work programs under the license agreements over the six-year term. BHP’s minimum commitment under the license agreements is for $157 million.

‘Record bid amount’

Announcing the results of Call for Bids NL18-CFB01 (Exploration Licences, Eastern Newfoundland Region), Call for Bids NL18-CFB02 (Exploration Licence, Jeanne d’Arc Region) and Call for Bids NL18-CFB03 (Production Licence, Jeanne d’Arc Region), the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) said the acreage attracted a record cumulative successful bid amount of $1,386,273,936 and a record single successful bid amount of $621,021,200.

 

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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