ExxonMobil to develop Hebron oil field off Canada

By OGJ editors
-- ExxonMobil Canada Properties filed a development plan with Newfoundland and Labrador authorities in mid-April to develop Hebron oil field in the Atlantic off eastern Canada.

Forecasted cumulative recovery over 30 years is estimated at 660-1,055 million bbl of oil. Development would be via a gravity base structure with 52 well slots and the capacity to store 1.2 million bbl of oil in multiple compartments.

Topsides will be designed for oil production of 150,000-180,000 b/d of oil and 200,000-350,000 b/d of water. Oil production could begin in mid-2017 if the project were sanctioned in mid-2012.

The plan filed with the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board said Hebron will be the fourth stand-alone development on the Grand Banks and, considering the Hibernia and White Rose tieback project, the sixth offshore oil project.

Hebron is in 88-102 m of water 9 km north of Terra Nova field, 32 km southeast of Hibernia field, and 340 km off St. John’s. It consists of Hebron, West Ben Nevis, and Ben Nevis fields on four significant discovery licenses: SDL 1006, 1007, 1009, and 1010.

Hebron was discovered in 1980, but the field area wasn’t proved commercial until the mid-1990s, ExxonMobil said.

The asset is composed of four reservoir intervals in several normal fault-bounded fault blocks. The four stratigraphic units are the Late Jurassic Jeanne d’Arc formation and the Early Cretaceous Hibernia, Avalon, and Ben Nevis formations. The asset has five major pools although other hydrocarbon-bearing pools beyond these exist.

The Ben Nevis reservoir in Hebron field is expected to produce 80% of the project’s crude oil, but the 20° gravity oil presents production challenges with viscosity 10-20 times that of water.

The Jeanne d’Arc and Hibernia reservoirs at Hebron and the Ben Nevis reservoir at West Ben Nevis and Ben Nevis fields are also significant resources.

Relative to the Hebron Ben Nevis reservoir, the Jeanne d'Arc and Hibernia reservoirs have higher oil quality but decreased reservoir quality consistent with deeper burial and cementation. The Jeanne d’Arc formation has lower reservoir quality than the Jeanne d’Arc formation at Terra Nova field, just as the Hibernia formation at Hebron has lower reservoir quality than the Hibernia formation at Hibernia field.

Associated gas will be used to fuel production and drilling facilities. When gas volumes exceed those needs, surplus gas will be injected into one of the reservoirs for storage and pressure maintenance. Stored gas may be withdrawn if the produced gas rate falls below volumes needed for platform operations. Gas handling facilities will be designed for 215-300 MMscfd of associated gas and gas-lift gas.

Hebron interest owners are ExxonMobil Canada operator with 36.0429%, Chevron Canada Ltd. 26.628%, Petro-Canada Hebron Partnership 22.7289%, Statoil Canada Ltd. 9.7002%, and Nalcor Energy—Oil & Gas Inc. 4.9%.

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