Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

The offshore world lost an important figure over the weekend with the passing of John Gregory Fitzgerald. As Chairman and CEO of the Canada Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board in the late 1990’s, John presided over the first production from the massive Hibernia field. He also approved the pioneering Terra Nova project, the first FPSO development in a harsh, iceberg laden environment.

John worked closely with his international counterparts and hosted an important offshore safety meeting in St. John’s in 1996. It was an honor to be associated with such an outstanding individual and dedicated safety leader.

RIP John, your contributions will not be forgotten.

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This graphic uses 2021 EIA data to compare the volumes of crude oil and petroleum products imported by the US from other countries.

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Bay du Nord FPSO planned for 500 km offshore St. John’s in 1200 m water depth

Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault formally approved the Bay du Nord offshore oil megaproject Wednesday, making a decision that will infuriate environmentalists but boost the Newfoundland and Labrador economy.

CBC News

Previous post on this project.

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Howard Pike forwarded this comprehensive Ocean Ranger video. Worth watching.

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In light of the 2009 helicopter crash that killed 17 workers offshore Newfoundland and the rash of other helicopter incidents around the world, helicopter safety is a major concern for the offshore industry and regulators. This FAA decision (link courtesy of Cheryl Anderson) is sure to be controversial in Atlantic Canada and elsewhere.

The U.S. aviation regulator says it won’t require the retrofit of a gearbox blamed in a fatal helicopter crash off Newfoundland because it would be too expensive for the industry.

 The decision by the Federal Aviation Administration rejects a call by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada to phase-in a requirement that all Sikorsky S-92A gearboxes be capable of operating at least 30 minutes after losing oil.

The March 2009 crash of Cougar Flight 491 resulted in 17 deaths during a flight to an offshore oil platform, and has brought demands from the families of the victims that regulators in the United States, Canada and Europe change the rules governing the gearbox.

The FAA memo on the decision, obtained by The Canadian Press under U.S. freedom of information legislation, says the service record of the helicopter no longer supports the certification’s basic premise that the chances of an oil leak are “extremely remote.”

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The federal and provincial governments both say they have no plans for offshore oil and gas exploration on B.C.’s coast any time soon. CBS News

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From Platt’s Oilgram News: 

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper turned two minority election victories since 2006 into a clear-cut majority win May 2, giving him the freedom to govern unchallenged for four years and, if he chooses, open the door to Canada’s first offshore oil and natural gas exports, climate change legislation, a national energy strategy and increased resource sector takeovers by foreign state owned companies.

Harper wasted no time telling reporters May 3 that Western Canada, whose economies rely heavily on oil, natural gas and mineral resources, can “breathe a lot easier.” He said NDP and Liberal policies calling for a ban on crude oil and LNG tankers off the northern British Columbia coast and a cap-and-trade emissions-reduction plan “were pretty seriously threatening” to Western Canada. “It’s a great thing those policies won’t be coming to fruition,” Harper promised.

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Proposal: Let’s make April 20th International Offshore Safety Day to honor those who have been killed or injured, to recognize the many workers who provide energy for our economies and way of life, and to encourage safety leadership by all offshore operators, contractors, and service companies.

Discussion: April 20th is, of course, the anniversary of the Macondo tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven men died on the Deepwater Horizon that day. Many other offshore workers have died or been injured exploring for and producing offshore energy.  167 workers were killed when Piper Alpha exploded in 1988, 84 died when the Ocean Ranger sank in 1982, 123 perished when the Alexander Kielland capsized in 1980, 17 died in a helicopter crash off Newfoundland in 2009, 11 died when the Petrobras 36 sank in the Roncador field in 2001, and many others have been killed working offshore. Some of these accidents, like last summer’s fatality on the Jack Ryan offshore Nigeria, receive no public notice. Others like the fall in the Gulf on Monday or the recent diver fatality in the North Sea receive just a brief mention.

In addition to honoring those killed or injured, Offshore Safety Day would draw attention to the importance of offshore workers, their dedication and commitment, progress that is being made in addressing offshore safety risks, and the outstanding safety management efforts of leading companies around the world.  It’s time for a day to honor offshore workers!

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Odd Finnestad has provided some good background information on the Old Harry prospect.

“Old Harry is described as “the largest known undrilled marine structure in Canada”, with twice the potential of the Hibernia field off Newfoundland (up to 2-billion barrels of recoverable oil), or and three times the potential of the Sable Island gas field off the coast of Nova Scotia.” polemincandparadise.com

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Quebec and Ottawa have struck a “historic” deal to allow the province to draw oil and natural gas royalties from the disputed Old Harry area of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, says Quebec Premier Jean Charest.

…The new deal is expected to give Quebec 100 per cent of the royalties from offshore resources. CBC News

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