Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the deferral of a major offshore redevelopment and production ship upgrade project in eastern Canada
Atlantic Towing’s tugs Atlantic Willow and Atlantic Larch manoeuvred Terra Nova FPSO into Bull Arm fabrication yard in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland as the owner, Suncor Energy decided to defer further offshore investments.
Terra Nova FPSO was removed from the namesake field earlier in 2020 and was due to be mobilised across the Atlantic to a European shipyard for a long-term upgrade and overhaul.
This would have extended the FPSO’s life by another 10 years, enabling Suncor to recover around 80M more barrels of oil from the field.
However, the coronavirus crisis forced Suncor to postpone and Terra Nova FPSO was moored in Conception Bay before being moved into Bull Arm in November.
“No production volumes or capital commitments associated with Terra Nova or West White Rose are currently forecast for 2021,” said Suncor at the end of November. “Suncor and its partners have deferred these projects until an economically viable way forward can be agreed upon with all stakeholders,” it confirmed.
Atlantic Towing mobilised 1998-built Atlantic Willow from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and 1999-built Atlantic Larch from Saint John, Newfoundland, for the tow. As of 30 November, Atlantic Larch returned to Saint John and Atlantic Willow is back in Halifax, according to their automatic identification system (AIS) signals.
Covid-19 and its global impact on energy prices has driven energy companies to cut budgets and operating costs. This has almost wiped out development and exploration work in eastern Canada with only production facility maintenance work left, for now.
Terra Nova FPSO has joined semi-submersible drilling rigs Henry Goodrich and West Aquarius in Bull Arm, while Transocean Barents drilling rig has returned to Norway after completing a drilling campaign for Equinor.
Offshore activity was halted completely in Nova Scotia after the Deep Panuke jack-up production unit was removed and returned to SBM Offshore.
Faced with no work, vessel operators have laid up assets until Q2 2021. This includes two vessels operated by Siem Offshore subsidiary Secunda – 2008-built Siem Commander and 2007-built Siem Hanne – both in Dartmouth.
Secunda also has 1998-built Venture Sea in dock for retrofit work in Shelboune, according to AIS data, while Atlantic Towing’s 2012-built Atlantic Kestrel is moored in Halifax.
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