Noia fall seminar points to bright future for Canadian offshore exploration

October 15, 2019

ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOULDLAND - The Newfoundland and Labrador Oil & Gas Industries Association (Noia) hosted its annual Fall Seminar this past Thursday at the St. John’s Convention Centre. Themed ‘Drilling Down for Future Opportunities,’ the focus for this year was advancing the offshore industry through exploration drilling activities.

The morning kicked off with an industry overview by Jim Keating, executive vice president, offshore development and corporate services, Nalcor Energy. An expert panel on Drilling: Future, Opportunities and Technology included discussions with Gregory Stacey, HSEQT manager, KCA Deutag Canada; Jason Power, country manager, Noble Drilling; and Dan Haslam, operations manager, Transocean, and focused on precise innovation, automation in cyber drilling rigs and new offshore technologies.

Keating summarized what’s coming as a "bow wave" of investment as eight oil companies, with 10 exploration plans, begin exploration programs in frontier areas of the offshore.

"We don't want to be a jurisdiction that waits and watches for that single well," he said, "and have our hopes and fears pinned on that single well in that single prospect."

"We see many prospects that have the potential to hold billions of barrels of oil. Hibernia is a gold standard and a driver for the Newfoundland economy for the better part of the last two decades. There are probably two dozen prospects HIbernia-size or bigger," said Keating.

"Whether they contain oil or gas is yet to be determined. But invariably, statistically, some of them will. It's just a matter of getting to them and the sooner the better," he said.

The luncheon keynote speaker was Jim Beresford, Equinor’s operated license asset manager and technical manager of the Bay du Nord Development Project. Jim provided an update on the Bay du Nord project including timelines, hull testing, and environmental assessment and development plan status. Following the luncheon, Kvaerner-Aker and Kiewit-Wood consortiums held a related supplier development session for the topsides project.

“This year’s Fall Seminar provided an informative program that was both leading edge and timely for our industry,” said Karen Winsor, chair of Fall Seminar 2019. “There were focused discussions on drilling and how it helps advance the offshore industry, updates on Equinor’s work offshore and much insightful discussion about the future of the offshore oil and gas industry in the province.”

During Fall Seminar, Chantelle Delaney of Witless Bay received the 2019 Noia-Hibernia Scholarship Award. Chantelle accepted the $1,000 scholarship presented annually to a graduating high school student in Newfoundland and Labrador who is entering post-secondary studies with the intention of pursuing a petroleum-related career.

Following her graduation from Mobile Central High School with a cumulative average of 95%, Chantelle enrolled in Memorial University where she is currently studying engineering with the goal of working in the offshore oil & gas industry as an engineer.

The Noia-Hibernia scholarship was established in 1977 – the year the Hibernia platform was completed and started drawing oil. It is designed to foster the bright minds that will shape the future of our province’s oil & gas industry.

Noia extends sincere congratulations to Chantelle and wishes her well in her academic, professional, and personal pursuits.

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