At Nalcor, we are committed to advancing oil and gas exploration in Newfoundland and Labrador. Nalcor strives to maximize the benefits of the province’s resources while maintaining our high standards of safety and environmental stewardship.
The company’s strategy includes investment into onshore and offshore exploration with a goal of increasing the level of exploration activity in Newfoundland and Labrador, leading to potential future discoveries. Exploration is a key part of Nalcor’s oil and gas strategy, aligning with the Provincial Energy Plan.
The onshore and offshore basins of Newfoundland and Labrador are vast and largely underexplored. It’s been over two decades since the major oil fields were discovered in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the modern technologies that can now be used for exploration weren’t available 20 years ago – their application today in onshore and offshore exploration could help identify potential new oil fields.
In early-2013, Nalcor announced the discovery of three newly defined basins in the Labrador Sea. In addition to the new basins, a fourth previously established basin was discovered to be much larger than originally understood. The redefined Hawke basin and the new Henley, Chidley and Holton basins – named after nearby place names in Labrador — more than double the basin area of offshore Labrador.
The discovery is a result of Nalcor’s efforts to enhance the understanding of the prospectivity of our petroleum basins by acquiring additional data and information. As a part of this strategy, Nalcor has established partnerships with industry experts, including EADS Astrium and TGS, with PGS. In late 2010, with EADS Astrium, Nalcor undertook a regional oil seep mapping and interpretation study encompassing all of offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. The satellite data acquired during this survey has imaged areas of potential natural seepage in various basins and highlighted potential new regions for oil exploration.
Applying data collected from the oil seep mapping and interpretation study, in September 2011, Nalcor announced a partnership and strategic investment in a large-scale multi-client 2D seismic survey of offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, commenced by TGS, in partnership with PGS. Initially planned as a two-year survey, after receiving encouraging results from the first two-years of the survey, Nalcor, TGS and PGS, decided to expand the survey to a third year. By the time the survey is completed more than 42,000 km of line data will have been collected from the province’s offshore that is a foundation to further the exploration and development of the province’s potential offshore resources.
In addition to the satellite seeps study, seismic survey and other research to unlock the secrets of Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore, Nalcor is also partnering in a seabed core analysis and regional pore pressure study.
The seabed core analysis is a partnership between Nalcor Energy Oil and Gas, GORE and the Geological Survey of Canada. This hydrocarbon analysis will sample seabed core previously collected by the Geological Survey of Canada to help build our understanding of hydrocarbon potential of the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore.
The regional pore pressure study sees Nalcor partner with Ikon Science to help identify the regional pore pressure distribution in the offshore shelf and deep water regions of Newfoundland and Labrador. This study, covering the Labrador Sea to the Flemish Pass, will provide the oil and gas industry with a foundational regional pore pressure analysis of Newfoundland and Labrador’s frontier basins. With this data, future prospect-specific pressure evaluations can be performed, which will help enhance the safety and efficiency of offshore well planning.
With careful planning and the continued utilization of innovative technologies to assist our search, we are confident our ongoing efforts in onshore and offshore exploration will ultimately help lead to the next major resource discoveries.
Coming in 2013, Nalcor will be posting select studies and references to this website with the aim to provide industry with early access to regional perspectives.
Other links relevant to Nalcor's offshore exploration activities:
Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board: http://www.cnlopb.nl.ca/
Natural Resources Canada Basin Database: http://basin.gdr.nrcan.gc.ca/index_e.php
Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Natural Resources: http://www.nr.gov.nl.ca/nr/energy/index.html