Skip to main content

Shaun Robinson

It’s been one year since ExxonMobil’s long-awaited Hebron platform off the southeast coast of Newfoundland started pumping crude from its first well. It took four years, $14 billion, 132,000 cubic metres of concrete and a few thousand workers to bring it online, and so far, it’s churning out about 40,000 barrels a day, with the crude bound for markets in the U.S. Gulf states, Europe and much of eastern North America. Eventually, Hebron will drill 20 to 30 wells, and is expected to produce around 150,000 barrels a day.

That doesn’t sound like much when compared to production in Alberta’s oil sands, which sits at about 2.4 million barrels daily. But despite offshore drilling posing its own dangers, Hebron has a big advantage over Alberta: Tankers are able to easily access it. With pipelines in the West over capacity and potential new ones mired in a political no-man’s land, offshore projects like Hebron are seen as an exciting new play for foreign investors, who last year sold off almost $23 billion in assets in the oil sands. Indeed, Exxon invested in Hebron as a hedge against Alberta’s oil sands woes, and it seems to have paid off. With an expected reserve of 700 million barrels of recoverable crude, the Hebron project is expected to operate for 30 years. As Newfoundland’s fourth offshore platform, it will play a key role in the province’s plan to double overall production to more than 650,000 barrels a day by 2030.

Total oil production in Newfoundland

and Labrador

(Millions of Barrels)

120

90

60

30

0

NORTH

AMETHYST

CAME

ONLINE

TERRA

NOVA

CAME

ONLINE

WHITE

ROSE

CAME

ONLINE

HIBERNIA

CAME

ONLINE

SOURCE: CANADA-NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

OFFSHORE PETROLEUM BOARD; DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

Total oil production in Newfoundland and Labrador

(Millions of Barrels)

120

90

60

30

0

HIBERNIA

CAME

ONLINE

TERRA NOVA

CAME

ONLINE

WHITE ROSE

CAME

ONLINE

NORTH

AMETHYST

CAME ONLINE

SOURCE: CANADA-NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR OFFSHORE

PETROLEUM BOARD; DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

Total oil production in Newfoundland and Labrador

(Millions of Barrels)

120

90

60

30

0

HIBERNIA

CAME ONLINE

TERRA NOVA

CAME ONLINE

WHITE ROSE

CAME ONLINE

NORTH AMETHYST

CAME ONLINE

SOURCE: CANADA-NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR OFFSHORE PETROLEUM BOARD;

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

Production by Province (2017)

80.7%ALBERTA

11.7%SASKATCHEWAN

5.3%NEWFOUNDLAND

1.4%BRITISH COLUMBIA

0.9%MANITOBA

0.1%OTHER

SOURCE: GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

Production by Province (2017)

80.7%ALBERTA

11.7%SASKATCHEWAN

5.3%NEWFOUNDLAND

1.4%BRITISH COLUMBIA

0.9%MANITOBA

0.1%OTHER

SOURCE: GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

Production by province (2017)

80.7%ALBERTA

11.7%SASKATCHEWAN

5.3%NEWFOUNDLAND

1.4%BRITISH COLUMBIA

0.9%MANITOBA

0.1%OTHER

SOURCE: GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.