The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has said that Husky Energy’s Development Plan Amendment for the White Rose Extension Project, offshore Newfoundland, has received conditional approval from the Board along with the federal and provincial governments.
According to C-NLOPB, this project is still being assessed by the oil company and requires a final investment decision from the company and its partners.
That is understandable given the current oil price slump. However, the project has been on the table since at least May 2012, which is when the project description document was published by the oil company.
As a result of this conditional approval, the C-NLOPB has updated the reserves and resources for the White Rose field to reflect an additional 165million barrels of oil, a fall in gas of 5billion cu.ft and a drop of 4million barrels of natural gas liquids (NGLs).
At its June 19 meeting, the board approved the White Rose Extension Project Benefits Plan Amendment and Development Plan Amendment. In its deliberation with respect to these plans, the board says it considered advice provided in its staff’s analysis as well as comments resulting from the public review. Under the Atlantic Accord Implementation Acts, the board’s approval was a “fundamental decision”, which has also been ratified by both the provincial and federal governments as required.
C-NLOPB said that, while Husky and other partners in White Rose continue to analyse the next steps, approval of the so-called Development Plan Amendment enables them to proceed with further development of White Rose in accordance with the approved approach if they so choose.
Husky says it continues to assess potential development options for the West White Rose extension in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin.
One of two concepts being assessed, a fixed wellhead platform, has received regulatory approval from the board.
However, Husky says that a subsea option to develop the field extension in the Jean D’Arc Basin is also being evaluated.
The May 2012 report says: “Under the subsea development option for West White Rose (or any other future resource), it will be comprised of subsea well infrastructure placed in an excavated subsea drill centre for protection from iceberg scour. Subsea wells will be drilled from a semi-submersible drilling rig. The subsea drill centre will be tied back to the SeaRose FPSO via the existing subsea infrastructure.”
Subsea flowlines would interconnect a new subsea drill centre with the SeaRose FPSO.
Flowlines would be laid directly on the seafloor, similar to installation methods used for flowlines currently in the White Rose field.
The need for additional flowline tie-in modules and associated valves will be evaluated during engineering.
Flowline tie-in modules will also sit on the seafloor and range between an estimated 20sq.m and 40sq.m in area.
Modifications may be required to existing subsea drill centres under the subsea drill centre development option. This could include removal of excess mud and cuttings from existing subsea drill centres.
Husky does not anticipate that any existing subsea drill centres will increase in size; modifications would be to equipment only.
Communications between the new subsea drill centre and the SeaRose FPSO would be via an umbilical. The location of the umbilical tie-in will be determined during front-end engineering and design.
The West White Rose extension is expected to begin production in the 2020-plus timeframe, subject to ongoing project review and final approvals.
Husky holds a 72.5% working interest in the main White Rose field, located approximately 300km off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. It has a 68.9% interest in the satellite fields, which include North Amethyst, South White Rose and West White Rose.