Bay du Nord. If you don’t know about this terrific proposed offshore development, you should – even if you’re not in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Bay du Nord is located about 500 kilometres offshore east-northeast of St. John’s in water depths of approximately 1,200 metres, where Equinor wants to develop a promising offshore oil deposit.
Who discovered the Bay du Nord deposit?
Equinor has been active in Canada for more than 25 years and is a partner in the Hibernia and Hebron offshore developments. Together with partner Cenovus, Equinor discovered the Bay du Nord deposit in 2013. Reserves are estimated to be at least 300 million barrels of recoverable oil, plus additional reserves associated with the nearby Cappahayden and Cambriol discoveries. Equinor continues to mature and improve the Bay du Nord development concept, they believe first oil could be achieved as early as 2028 pending regulatory approval and a final investment decision by the project partners. Reserves are estimated to be at least 300 million barrels of recoverable oil, plus additional reserves associated with the nearby Cappahayden and Cambriol deposits.
As Equinor continues to mature and improve the Bay du Nord development concept, they believe first oil could be achieved as early as 2028 pending regulatory approval and a final investment decision by the project partners.
The project has some significant environmental, economic and technical advantages:
- Emissions – Bay du Nord has the potential to be the lowest carbon intensity development of its scale in Canada, utilizing world-leading carbon reduction technologies – some of the first in Canada’s offshore industry. Bay du Nord will also incorporate leading technology for digitalization, and facilitate innovation across the energy industry and other sectors – a huge win for pan-Canadian expertise and innovation.
- Technology – Equinor has 50 years of operating experience in Europe’s North Sea and will apply this experience to Bay du Nord. For example, Equinor will customize technology from oil platforms in Norway and offshore wind farms in the UK to monitor bird activity at Bay du Nord, transmitted in real time to shore – the first full operation of its kind in the world. There is also $300 million in research and development funding associated with the project, to further enhance the ability of the energy industry to lower carbon emissions.
- Economics – Bay du Nord would generate a significant positive impact for the economies of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Canada. Including the nearby deposits, the total project capital cost for the Bay du Nord development is approximately $16 billion and it is estimated that the development will generate in excess of 16,000 person-years of employment and contribute more than $10 billion in royalty and corporate tax income to the province and Canada.
Environmental assessment process
Equinor has completed a four-year environmental assessment process for the Bay du Nord project, which culminated with the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada concluding in 2021 that “the Bay du Nord Development Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, taking into account the implementation of mitigation measures.”
On April 6, 2022, the Government of Canada approved the Impact Assessment Agency’s environmental assessment review recommendation that the Bay du Nord Project can proceed.
Canada is one of the few trusted, safe and reliable producers of oil and natural gas in the world. The Bay du Nord project offers an incredible economic opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada, and a solution to meeting rising global energy demand with a responsible, secure source of energy.