OTC: Nova Scotia seeks bids in active eastern Canada offshore

Exploration and development remain brisk offshore eastern Canada, provincial officials reported May 6 at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

Nova Scotia on May 5 issued a call for bids covering four blocks on the Scotian Slope east of its offshore gas-producing area.

The area covered by the offering is near current exploration and north and east of areas where BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC each plans investments totaling $1 billion over the next several years, according to Andrew Younger, the provincial energy minister.

In a press conference at the OTC, Younger said Shell is preparing to drill as many as seven wells starting next year in the area covered by its six contiguous blocks. He said company geoscientists are reviewing 10,000 sq km of data acquired in the first 3D wide-azimuth seismic survey ever conducted off Canada, which it completed last year.

On four blocks between Shell’s acreage and the producing area, BP soon will begin a 3D seismic survey over a 14,000-sq-km area in 100-3,000 m of water.

Water depths in the parcels newly offered for bid are 100-4,100 m. The two eastern-most blocks lie along the maritime boundary with Labrador and Newfoundland.

A well drilled on the western-most block in 1986 identified a large structure on the upper slope in 1,540 m of water, according to a press statement. The blocks are considered prospective for oil and gas in Cretaceous and Jurassic formations.

The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board will accept bids through Oct. 30.

Also at the press conference, Premier Tom Marshall of Newfoundland and Labrador said a combine of Statoil and Husky Energy have two rigs active in the area of their offshore Bay du Nord, Mizzen, and Harpoon discoveries, in the Flemish Pass basin northeast of the province’s producing fields in the Jeanne d’Arc basin (OGJ Online, Oct. 8, 2013). In that area, ExxonMobil Corp. is developing Hebron heavy oil field with a concrete gravity platform.

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