Petro-Canada: Terra Nova production delayed

Petro-Canada, Calgary, operator of the Terra Nova oilfield off Newfoundland, says first production will be delayed several months until late this year. The company said the delay is due to design and workmanship problems with the floating production, storage and offloading facility for the project, which is being built onshore.


By an OGJ Online Correspondent


Calgary, Feb. 19
�Petro-Canada, Calgary, operator of the Terra Nova oilfield off Newfoundland, says first production will be delayed several months until late this year.

The company said the delay is due to design and workmanship problems with the floating production, storage and offloading facility for the project, which is being built onshore.

It also says there is no final cost estimate for Terra Nova development, but it could be as much as 15% more than a previous estimate of $2.5 billion (Can.) It is also forecasting minimum production in 2001 from the field on the Grand Banks, 217 miles east southeast of St. John�s, Newf.

Executive Vice-Pres. Norman McIntyre said the schedule and cost changes arise from an internal review done during the onshore hookup and commissioning phase of the FPSO. He said additional time is required for remedial work to address design engineering and workmanship problems identified in several key vessel systems after arrival of the FPSO at Bull Arm, Newf. from a South Korean shipyard.

The systems are the seawater cooling system; the heat tracing system; the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system; and the turret. He said design modifications recently identified in other North Sea facilities are also being incorporated.

McIntyre said the revised work schedule would resolve problems before putting the vessel into service and improve operability of the production facility in service.

He noted the FPSO is the first to be developed for use in the unique environment off Newfoundland, and issues involved in the excavation of glory holes and subsea flow lines on the Grand Banks have been successfully addressed.

The Petro-Canada executive said the delay is disappointing, but Terra Nova remains an attractive project with estimated proven reserves of at least 370 million bbl of crude oil and a projected 15-year production life. Production is expected to be 130,000 b/d in 2002.

Petro-Canada has a 33.9% interest in the project; a Canadian unit of ExxonMobil Corp., 22%; Norsk Hydro Oil & Gas Canada Inc., 15%; Husky Oil Operations Ltd., 12.51%; Murphy Oil Co. Ltd., 12%; Mosbacher Operating Ltd., 3.5%; and Chevron Corp. affiliate Chevron Canada Resources, 1%.

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