Hibernia One Billion Barrels Strong, More to Come

Newfoundland and Labrador’s first producing offshore oil field hits significant milestone.

When the Hibernia platform began operations in 1997, it was predicted that 563 million barrels would be extracted and production would be ceasing around this time.

Nearly two decades later, the project has reached a significant milestone. The Hibernia platform pumped its one billionth barrel on December 21, 2016 – which is almost double the original estimates for the project.

Located 315 kilometres southeast of St. John’s, the Hibernia oil field is the fifth-largest field ever discovered in Canada. When construction of the platform began in 1991, there was a lack of supporting infrastructure in the province. Since that time, the development of shared infrastructure and services – shorebase facilities, heliport, transshipment terminal – have made an east coast offshore oil and gas industry possible.

The offshore project is operated by Hibernia Management and Development Co (HMDC). ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas company, is the project’s lead owner. Other partners include Chevron Canada Resources, Suncor, Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation, Murphy Oil, and Statoil Canada Ltd.


Hibernia slated to continue exceeding original targets

Recent estimates anticipate production could continue beyond 2040, potentially reaching the 1.6 billion barrel mark. This is an increase of 250 million barrels from the last review in 2010.

In 2011 a new oil field was added to the Hibernia platform with the completion of the Hibernia Southern Extension. The additional reservoirs, combined with advancements in drilling technology, have contributed to the increased production outlook.

As Newfoundland and Labrador’s first and longest-producing oil field, the continued success of the Hibernia platform has made a significant contribution to the province’s status as a major player in the offshore oil sector. Meanwhile, ExxonMobil and other companies continue to invest in exploration.