Canada approves first deep water offshore oilfield development

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The Canadian government on Wednesday formally gave the green light to the development of the Bay du Nord offshore oilfield, the first deep water mega project in the country.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said in a statement that he has determined that the project would not cause significant adverse environmental effects and that it is subject to 137 conditions, including one that the project would have to meet net zero emissions by 2050, Xinhua news agency reported.

The project was owned by Norwegian energy giant Equinor and its partner company Cenovus. The oilfield was discovered in the deep water Flemish Pass Basin, approximately 500 kms east of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, with a water depth of around 3,861 feet (1,200 metres).

Bay du Nord was the largest oil discovery in the world in 2013 with about 480 million barrels of estimated recoverable light crude.

The oil development will involve the drilling of approximately 40 wells and include a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel capable of producing up to 200,000 barrels of oil per day.

According to Equinor, the Final Investment Decision of the project is expected to be approved within two years.

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