Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, last week formally approved an environmental assessment report that determined that Equinor’s proposed Bay du Nord Development Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when mitigation measures are taken into account. The project is therefore allowed to proceed with those measures in place.
The Bay du Nord project (BdN) consist of several oil discoveries in the Flemish pass basin, some 500 kilometers northeast of St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The first discovery was made by Equinor in 2013, followed by additional discoveries in 2015, 2016 and 2020.
Confirmed discoveries in 2020 in adjacent exploration licence EL1156 (Cappahayden and Cambriol East) are potential tie-ins in a joint project development. The Bay du Nord discovery is at a water depth of approximately 1170 meters, while the new discoveries are at approximately 650 meters water depth.
Equinor is considering developing the Bay du Nord field using a floating production unit for storage and offshore offloading (FPSO), which also is a solution for tie-back of adjacent discoveries and future prospects.
The decision to give the project the go ahead was warmly welcomed by Canadian pro-natural resource community coalition Canada Action which noted that Bay du Nord could start up as soon as 2028, pending a final investment decision.
Canada Action cited Equinor as saying that the project would pump about 300 million barrels of oil, generate $3.5 billion in estimated government revenues, and create 11,000 person-years of in-province employment. As proposed, the project would run for about 30 years, with the potential for additional wells and tie-backs to the production facility.