Environmental assessment begins for BP’s Orphan Basin drilling project

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) has begun a federal environmental assessment for BP’s proposed Newfoundland Orphan Basin exploration drilling project, offshore Canada.

The agency said on Monday that the proposed drilling project was located 350 kilometers east of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador in the Atlantic Ocean.

Following a public comment period on the summary of the project description, the CEAA determined that an environmental assessment was required for the project.

According to the CEAA, this project is one of five exploration drilling projects in the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore area that are currently undergoing environmental assessments under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

As for the drilling project, BP Canada Energy Group ULC proposed a nine-year period to determine the presence, nature, and quantities of the potential hydrocarbon resource in exploration license 1145, 1146, 1148, and 1149.

The project may involve drilling up to 20 exploration wells over the term of the ELs (2017 to 2026), with an initial well proposed to be drilled in 2019 or 2020, pending regulatory approval. The wells will be drilled using either a semi-submersible rig or a drillship.

BP shares ELs 1145, 1146, and 1148 with co-venturers Hess Canada Oil and Gas ULC and Noble Energy Canada ULC, and EL 1149 with Noble Energy Canada ULC. BP will serve as the operator for the drilling program.