November 27, 2023
In a momentous turn of events for Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil industry, Suncor Energy proudly announces the triumphant restart of oil production from the Terra Nova Floating, Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. Following extensive repair work conducted in northwestern Spain in 2021, aimed at extending the FPSO’s operational life until 2031, this milestone marks a significant chapter in the region’s economic resurgence.
The Terra Nova FPSO, a crucial component of the oil field situated approximately 350 km southeast of St. John’s, underwent substantial repairs in a port in northwestern Spain in 2021. These repairs, under the careful supervision of Suncor Energy, were part of a strategic initiative to enhance the vessel’s integrity and extend its lifespan to 2031. After years of meticulous repair procedures, the Terra Nova FPSO is once again operational, contributing to the region’s economic revitalization.
Suncor Energy, the majority owner of the Terra Nova project, removed the FPSO from its 2023 projections in April, sparking anticipation regarding the timeline for its return to production. The recent announcement brings clarity to the situation, emphasizing Suncor’s unwavering commitment to safety and operational excellence in restarting this crucial offshore project.
Rich Kruger, Suncor President, and Chief Executive Officer, expressed gratitude for the collaborative efforts and support from provincial and federal governments. “Focusing on safety and operational integrity, we have brought this key offshore project online, providing additional cash flow for our shareholders as well as many benefits to the Newfoundland and Labrador and Canadian economies,” he stated.
The Terra Nova FPSO’s return to operations is a notable event, considering its hiatus since 2019. The comprehensive repair work conducted in Spain aimed not only to address operational issues but also to position the FPSO for an extended period of productivity, aligning with the energy industry’s commitment to sustainable resource development.
The Terra Nova Partners, comprising Suncor with a 48% stake, Cenovus with 34%, and Murphy Oil Corporation with 18%, highlight the collaborative approach to offshore oil operations. The successful restart of the FPSO is expected to contribute significantly to economic growth, job creation, and the ongoing development of Canada’s energy sector.
Discovered in 1984, the Terra Nova oil field was the second to be developed on the Grand Banks offshore Newfoundland. Production from the field began in 2002, utilizing the Terra Nova Floating, Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. This marked the first development in North America to use FPSO technology in a harsh weather environment featuring sea ice and icebergs.
In 2021, Suncor and the Terra Nova joint venture owners finalized an agreement to move forward with the Asset Life Extension Project, expected to extend production life by approximately 10 years. The project holds the potential to provide numerous benefits to the economies of both Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada, including taxes, royalties, and employment opportunities.
The Terra Nova FPSO, one of the largest ever built, spans 292.2 meters in length and 45.5 meters in width—roughly the size of three football fields laid end to end. From keel to helideck, it stands more than 18 stories high, with a storage capacity of 960,000 barrels of oil and the ability to accommodate up to 120 people while in production.
Designed for extreme weather conditions and the challenging environment it operates in, the Terra Nova FPSO is a double-hulled, ice-reinforced vessel equipped with five thrusters and a global dynamic positioning system. This automated system allows the vessel to maintain its heading, reducing the impact of waves by changing to more favorable headings in high winds and storms.
As the Terra Nova FPSO once again becomes a vital player in Newfoundland and Labrador’s oil production, the region anticipates positive impacts on its economy and the broader Canadian energy landscape. The revitalization of this offshore project serves as a testament to the resilience and commitment of the energy industry, further solidifying its role in the sustainable development of Canada’s valuable natural resources.
Source and Pictures: Suncor
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