ExxonMobil’s Hebron platform pumps first oil off Newfoundland and Labrador

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — First oil has been pumped at the $14-billion Hebron offshore oil platform off Newfoundland and Labrador, officials with ExxonMobil Canada announced Tuesday.

The company said the platform extracted its first oil on Monday at the Hebron field in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin, located 350 kilometres southeast of St. John’s.

“Our goal since the Hebron project was announced in 2008 was to safely achieve first oil in 2017,” company president Carman Mullins said.

“Today we delivered on our commitment. Hebron is an engineering and construction marvel and thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians can proudly say they helped design and build the platform.”

Built at Bull Arm, the massive gravity-based platform is 230 metres high and weighs 750,000 tonnes. The structure was towed to the drilling site in early June and has begun production ahead of schedule.

The Hebron oil field was discovered in 1980, and it’s estimated it will produce more than 700-million barrels of oil throughout the lifespan of the project.

At peak rates the platform is expected to produce up to 150,000 barrels of oil per day and has a storage capacity of 1.2 million barrels of oil.

During its production phase, Hebron is expected to generate millions in annual royalties and taxes for the cash-strapped province. It’s also expected to provide long-term employment for over 600 workers.

The governing Liberals have said the project will generate more than $10 billion in royalties and benefits over the next 20 years — less than half the estimated $23 billion once hailed by the former Tory government.

Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady said it was a “great day for the province” to have its second offshore oil project in operation in addition to Hibernia.

In addition to ExxonMobil Canada, project partners include Chevron Canada, Suncor Energy, Statoil Canada and provincial Crown corporation Nalcor Energy with a 4.9 per cent equity stake.

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