Newfoundland and Labrador began producing offshore oil in 1997, and has since established itself as a major player in the international petroleum sector. The Province currently has three offshore producing projects, which are Hibernia, Terra Nova and White Rose. It also has three offshore projects that are under development, which are Hebron, White Rose Extensions, and Hibernia South Extension (HSE).
There are significant direct employment opportunities associated with these mega-projects. Employment levels for these projects are: near 800 annually for Hibernia; roughly 700 annually for Terra Nova; approximately 700 annually for White Rose; and an estimated local construction peak of 2500 for Hebron. Additionally, the White Extensions and Hibernia South Extension are estimated to bring tens of millions of person hours of work to the province.
Onshore oil is confined to the West Coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. As of December 2008, there were nine onshore exploration permits and one onshore production lease in Garden Hill South. Activity at this site began in 1994.
Note: Petroleum Development 2008 offers further details on these offshore and onshore projects.
Refining and Other Related Activities
Interestingly, as a province, we have been refining oil longer than we have been producing it.
North Atlantic Refining Limited
North Atlantic Refining Limited is a local oil refinery, which was built in the early 1970s. As the second leading oil refinery (utilization) in Canada, it has a rated capacity of 115,000 barrels of oil per day. Voted as one of Canada’s Top 100 employers, it employees nearly 600 people at the Come By Chance oil refinery - including operators, engineers, craftspeople, managers, and drivers.
Newfoundland and Labrador Refining Corporation
On February 8, 2006, Newfoundland and Labrador Refining Corporation announced that it had begun a feasibility study regarding the possibility of developing a new oil refinery in Placentia Bay. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has encouraged this prospect.
The Newfoundland Transshipment Limited (NTL)
The NTL Terminal located at Whiffen Head, Placentia Bay, began operations on October 1, 1998. Crude oil from the Hibernia field is shipped via shuttle tankers to the NTL terminal, and from there is transported by conventional tankers to market. The facility has six 500,000 bbl floating roof storage tanks, for a total of 3 million barrels storage capacity.