Exxon Mobil has revealed that production has started at its Hebron ahead of schedule. It is projected that the project has a capacity to produce approximately 150,000 oil barrels per day at its peak. The Hebron field was discovered in 1980 and is thought to possess recoverable resources amounting to over 700 million barrels.
The Hebron project is expected to assist the offshore production of Canada rise by 44% by the year 2024 to reach 307,000 barrels per pad. This is according to estimates provided by the CAPP – Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
“The successful startup of the Hebron project demonstrates ExxonMobil’s disciplined project management expertise and highlights its ability to execute large-scale energy developments safely and responsibly in challenging operating conditions,” said ExxonMobil Development Company’s president, Liam Mallon, in a statement.
The startup phase of the Hebron project took eight years and resulted in about 7,500 jobs being created during its peak. Hundreds of vendors were contracted throughout Labrador and Newfoundland. Over 40 million hours were achieved during the construction phase. No lost-time injury was recorded.
Through an affiliate, ExxonMobil Canada Properties, Exxon Mobile owns a 35.5% stake in the Hebron project. Other stakeholders include Chevron Canada Limited which has a 29.6% stake, Suncor Energy Inc which owns a 21% stake, Stataoil which has a 9% interest and Nalcor Energy-Oil and Gas Inc which possesses a 4.9% stake.
Though the crude production in Canada is on a growth trajectory due to the vast oil sands in Alberta, there has been a scaling back in forecast following the slump in oil prices which started three years ago though prices are now recovering.
The start of production at Hebron oilfield coincides with the chief executive officer of Exxon Mobile, Darren Woods, making changes in the refining operations of the oil major in a bid to boost profits in the wake of volatility in the prices of natural gas and oil. Since Woods took up the position of CEO following the appointment of Rex Tillerson as the U.S. Secretary of State, these changes are the most sweeping he has made. Woods was previously in charge of Exxon’s refining operations prior to his current position.
A restructuring of Exxon Mobil’s refining operations will see the lubricants and fuels division of the oil giant being combined with the refining and supply divisions. No information was provided by the U.S. energy giant on whether the changes will result in executive departures or job cuts.