No decision has been made regarding the closure of the Terra Nova oil field: Suncor

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According to reports that Suncor will halt production of Terra Nova until 2022, a company spokesperson said no decision has been made.

Premier Dwight Ball says the oil field has been “extremely important” to Newfoundland and Labrador.

At a COVID-19 press conference held on Tuesday afternoon, Ball answered a question from the All Newfoundland and Labrador economic news website, which announced the news.

“We work closely with Terra Nova. I just had a conversation with our minister just before I came to this media meeting today. This is recent news, “Ball told reporters.

“The offshore industry has faced enormous challenges in the past few months in terms of oil prices, and of course with Terra Nova they have had other challenges as well. “

The company decided not to do dry docking in 2020 due to concerns over COVID-19, and since then Suncor has “evaluated alternative scenarios” to complete critical maintenance work at Terra Nova.

“At the moment, we have no approved alternative for the plan to extend the lifespan of the assets,” the statement said.

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, which regulates the industry, has said that it is in talks with Suncor regarding the requirements for plans to extend the life of Terra Nova.

The board said it sympathizes with the workforce affected by the announcement, but is unaware of the business considerations facing Suncor and its partners.

Federal Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan was not available for interviews, but tweeted that officials will work with the company to minimize the impact on workers and their families.

As of Tuesday, the number of workers who may be affected or their effects may not be immediately known.

In a 2018 Industrial Benefits report, Suncor said 1,032 people were working to support the development of Terra Nova, including about six in 10 overseas. Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador represented 88% of the total number of workers.

Months already offline

Production has been stopped at Terra Nova since December.

At the time, C-NLOPB stated that Suncor “did not meet regulatory requirements … to thoroughly maintain and inspect equipment essential to the safe operation of the facility, to ensure that repairs are completed. done in a timely manner and to ensure that mitigation measures are effective in minimizing risks. ”

More specifically, the regulator’s safety manager noted an insufficient availability of redundant fire water pump systems on board the facility.

In April, the board told CBC News that the water pump problem has since been corrected, but the production suspension order remains in effect “while Suncor performs other maintenance and updates is implementing corrective measures concerning its maintenance management system ”.

To make matters worse, a planned overhaul of the Terra Nova floating platform at a Spanish shipyard has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are currently working to halt offshore operations and safely preserve the floating storage, production and offloading (FPSO) wharf by this summer. and the duration has not yet been determined, “said the statement on Tuesday.

A year ago, Suncor and its partners approved plans to complete a project that will extend the lifespan of the Terra Nova FPSO for a decade, until 2031.

The goal was to capture an additional 80 million barrels of oil.

The future of the project now looks uncertain, but Suncor’s statement says Terra Nova will continue to play “an important long-term role” in its exploration and production operations.

“The successful completion of the asset life extension would extend the facility by 10 years, capture approximately 80 million barrels of additional resources and provide various benefits to the province in the form of taxes, royalties and ‘jobs’, the statement said.

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