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Independent Resource Assessment identifies significant potential in the West Orphan Basin offshore Newfoundland and Labrador – News Release

By August 24, 2016June 8th, 2018News

August 24, 2016, St. John’s, NL – The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nalcor Energy and Beicip-Franlab announced today that the in place oil and gas resource potential is 25.5 billion barrels of oil and 20.6 trillion cubic feet of gas in the West Orphan Basin located within the area of the CanadaNewfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) 2016 Eastern Newfoundland Call for Bids.

“The 2016 independent oil and gas resource assessment adds to our growing knowledge about our offshore oil and gas potential – leading to more exploration work by global companies and giving us assurance that we will have a thriving oil and gas industry in Newfoundland and Labrador for many years to come,” said The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. “We do recognize that exploration is down globally due to current challenges in the oil and gas industry. Still, we are cautiously optimistic about positive results of the licensing round in November 2016. We are fully expecting more exploration work by the leading oil and gas companies in the world.”

Nalcor, with its partners TGS and PGS, have been acquiring extensive 2D seismic data (110,000 line km to date) in the underexplored slope and deep water areas of the province’s offshore. To further delineate the West Orphan Basin, a 3D seismic survey was acquired over a portion of the area in the summer of 2015 and the data from the new 3D images has provided further insight into the area’s resource potential. This is the first time a 3D survey has been conducted offshore Newfoundland and Labrador in advance of a scheduled license round.

“We are focused on advancing exploration activity that will scientifically assess our entire offshore. This can only be accomplished by utilizing state-of-the-art technology to acquire the highest quality data to form the greatest understanding of its potential,” said Jim Keating, Executive Vice President, Corporate Services and Offshore Development, Nalcor Energy. “The 3D seismic survey added an additional layer of insight which has played an essential role in helping us risk reduce key prospects from a 1 in 20 to a globally competitive 1 in 6 chance of success.”

Through the integration of satellite slick data, 2D long offset seismic, 3D long offset seismic and seabed coring a new Lower Tertiary play trend has been identified in the West Orphan Basin. The discovery of this play trend is fully described in a recent Nalcor conference paper accepted for presentation at the Society of Exploration Geophysicists(SEG) International Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas this fall. This newly identified prospectivity has resulted in Beicip Franlab’s resource assessment identifying the in place resource potential of 25.5 billion barrels of oil and 20.6 trillion cubic feet of gas in this area.

“The independent integrated geological and geophysical study carried out by Beicip-Franlab, supported by the application of leading edge modeling techniques, has been instrumental in identifying and quantifying significant prospective oil and gas resources in the West Orphan Basin” said Jean Burrus, CEO, Beicip-Franlab. “Our analysis and modeling of the 2016 area indicates favorable geological conditions for oil and gas accumulations.”

The independent assessment is based on new data covering the nine parcels on offer in the West Orphan Basin, an area located 300 kilometres from the northeast coast of Newfoundland. The assessment covers approximately 2% (20,000 square kilometres) of Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore area.

This is province’s second scheduled license round. Future license rounds scheduled through 2020 will follow the same process with detailed resource assessments being conducted and released prior to bid closing.

To download a copy of the resource assessment or the SEG conference paper, visit

Nalcor Energy Oil and Gas is currently a working interest partner in three offshore developments: the Hebron oil field, the White Rose Growth Project and the Hibernia Southern Extension. Nalcor is also leading the exploration of the province’s frontier and deepwater basins by making investments in new geoscience data and analysis to evaluate Newfoundland and Labrador’s undiscovered oil and gas resource potential.

Media Contact:
Leona Barrington
Corporate Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
Nalcor Energy
t: 709.737.4244
c: 709.699.8035

Michelle Cannizzaro
Media Relations Manager
Office of the Premier

Jennifer Lancirica, Head of Communication
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