FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 23, 2014
St. John's, NL - In another project milestone, the Hebron gravity based structure (GBS) was successfully towed from the dry dock to the deepwater construction site at Bull Arm. Tow-out began July 22, with arrival at the deepwater site 10 hours later. Mooring operations are underway.
GBS construction in the dry dock began in October 2012. After pouring the GBS base slab, a method of continuously pouring concrete known as slip forming was used to construct the GBS to a height of 27.5 metres. In June, the dry dock was flooded to prepare for towing.
"The tow-out of the GBS, at 180,000 tonnes, was a major engineering and logistical feat," said Geoff Parker, Hebron senior project manager and vice president of ExxonMobil Canada Properties, operator of the project. "The success of the tow demonstrates the planning, hard work and commitment of everyone involved."
The GBS is a reinforced concrete structure designed to withstand sea ice, icebergs, and meteorological and oceanographic conditions. It will be capable of storing approximately 1.2 million barrels of crude oil and will support an integrated topsides deck that includes a living quarters and facilities for drilling and production. The GBS project achieved 10 million hours without a lost time incident.
"More important than any other milestone is the fact that we have reached this point in the project without any person incurring a serious injury while working at our sites for engineering, GBS construction and topsides module fabrication," said Parker. "To us, that is the most significant accomplishment. Congratulations to the entire team for its relentless pursuit of a safe workplace."
GBS construction activities will continue later this summer at the deepwater site, which has a depth of about 150 metres. The floating GBS will be slip formed to a height of 120 metres. After the GBS is completed, the topsides will be floated over at the deepwater site and set on the GBS to form the complete platform that will be installed at the Hebron field. In-province employment is expected to reach a peak of about 5,000 this year.
The Hebron field is estimated to contain more than 700 million barrels of recoverable resources. The platform is being designed for an oil production rate of 150,000 barrels of oil per day. First oil is on schedule to be produced before the end of 2017.
The Hebron project co-venturers include ExxonMobil Canada Properties, Chevron Canada Limited, Suncor Energy Inc., Statoil Canada Ltd. and Nalcor Energy Oil and Gas Inc.