In another significant advancement in the province’s
petroleum industry, the Provincial Government has delivered its Energy
Plan goal of a 10 per cent equity stake as well as a top royalty rate of
50 per cent in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached with its
oil industry partners to develop the Hibernia Southern Extension.
"Hibernia South will increase and sustain production
from the Hibernia field, preserving employment levels while providing a
significantly greater royalty return for the province than any previous
project," said the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland
and Labrador. "With this MOU, we have achieved an unprecedented royalty
rate and equity interest. Our government is pleased to join our co-venturers
in taking our first oil development to the next level and I thank them
for their commitment to our industry and to the province. The revenue to
the Provincial Government from the Hibernia Southern Extension project,
from all sources, is estimated to be $10 billion based on forecasts by
the international energy consulting firm PIRA. We could not be more
pleased to have achieved such tremendous benefits for the people from
Premier Williams also noted the significance of this
expansion in comparison to the original Hibernia field. "The original
Hibernia field has produced 630 million barrels to date and the
provincial treasury has seen $1.9 billion from that production. We
expect a further $13 billion from the remaining main field production
and this extension adds an estimated $10 billion more in revenue for the
province," said the Premier. "In addition, Canada will once again see
revenue from Newfoundland and Labrador resources with the development of
the Hibernia Southern Extension. On this deal alone, we expect the
Federal Government and rest of Canada will see more than $3.5 billion in
The Hibernia Southern Extension contains an estimated
220 million barrels of oil. The Provincial Government, through Nalcor
Energy – Oil and Gas, will acquire a 10 per cent equity interest in the
estimated 170 million barrels that will be produced using a subsea
tie-back on terms consistent with the Energy Plan. The remainder will be
produced from the existing Gravity-Based Structure (GBS) at an enhanced
royalty rate to the province of 42.5 per cent on every barrel of oil.
"The Hibernia Southern Extension terms will be
precedent setting, building on the Energy Plan objective of a new era in
resource development in this province," said the Honourable Kathy
Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. "This is a growth project
that will utilize infrastructure already in place and it demonstrates
the maturing of our industry. We are developing new fields and finding
ways to more fully develop maturing and existing fields. We expect the
lion’s share of the work required for this extension will be completed
in this province. As well, all the partners in the project remain
committed to ensuring the highest safety and environment standards."
Upon completion of the formal agreements, Nalcor Energy – Oil and Gas
will pay an overall purchase price of $30 million. This is consistent
with our Energy Plan terms of recognizing historic costs for Nalcor’s
entry into new licence areas.
The signing of the non-binding MOU was announced today
by Premier Williams in his address to 700 delegates at the annual
Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association (NOIA)
conference in St. John’s. The partners in the Hibernia Southern
Extension are ExxonMobil, Petro-Canada, Chevron, Murphy Oil, Canada
Hibernia Holding Corporation, StatoilHydro and, upon signing of the
formal agreements, Nalcor Energy – Oil and Gas.
The Premier also confirmed today that after nearly 12
years of production, the Hibernia project is now in "payout," meaning
that on the main part of the original Hibernia field the province is now
receiving a royalty of 30 per cent of net revenues.
In addition to the unprecedented equity stake, three
new super royalty areas are included in the MOU. The first is for new
licence areas (PL1005 and EL 1093), for which the top royalty rate will
now be 50 per cent.
This super royalty is incremental to the royalty rates of 30 per cent
and 42.5 per cent, and will be paid out in two steps – an additional 2.5
per cent when oil is equal or greater than US$50 West Texas Intermediate
(WTI) and another five per cent when oil reaches US$70 (WTI), which
brings the total royalty to 50 per cent.
The second is for the portion of Hibernia South that
is contained within the original licence area (PL 1001), but will be
developed with the new subsea facilities. This new super royalty is on
top of the payout royalty rate of 30 per cent and will be paid out in
two steps – an additional 7.5 per cent when oil is equal or greater than
US$50 (WTI) and another five per cent when oil reaches US$70 (WTI),
which brings the total royalty to 42.5 per cent.
Finally, for the part of Hibernia South where oil will
be produced from the existing GBS, an additional 12.5 per cent has been
applied, effective immediately. This new enhanced royalty of 42.5 per
cent has no price trigger.
Using the Hebron agreement as a template, this MOU
also contains a commitment to implementing a Gender Equity and Diversity
Program for all phases of the project. This program will ensure full
access to employment opportunities for qualified women and disadvantaged
groups by creating proactive programs and practices that will contribute
to an inclusive work environment and corporate culture. The research and
development guidelines set by the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum
Board will also be met for the Hibernia Southern Extension.
The MOU also resolves the decade-long dispute over the
deduction of transportation costs by the proponents for royalty
purposes. For many proponents, this resolution accelerates payout,
resulting in higher royalties for the province in this fiscal year. With
the past settled, going forward the proponents will use the same cost
eligibility rules as negotiated for the Hebron Project.
The text of the Premier’s address to NOIA is available at
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
Office of the Premier
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
Manager, Corporate Communication and Shareholder Relations
Hibernia Southern Extension
Discovered in 1979, the Hibernia oil field is located
in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin, 315 kilometres east southeast of St. John’s.
First oil from Hibernia was produced in 1997.
In 1996, the Hibernia field was estimated to contain
666 million barrels of oil by the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum
Board (CNLOPB). That estimate has since increased to 1.244 billion
barrels of recoverable oil, including the estimated 220 million barrels
contained in the Hibernia Southern Extension.
The project operator for the existing Hibernia field
is the Hibernia Management Development Company Limited (HMDC). The
partners in HMDC are ExxonMobil, Petro-Canada, Chevron, Murphy Oil,
Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation and StatoilHydro.
In May 2006, HMDC filed a Development Plan Amendment
with the CNLOPB to begin extracting oil from the area known as Hibernia
Southern Extension. Since that time, HMDC has been working diligently to
provide additional information. Technical information to support the new
Development Plan Amendment was submitted to the CNLOPB in July 2008. A
new Development Plan Amendment has not yet been filed for the southern
extension area tie-back project. A Development Plan Amendment has been
filed for the area of the southern extension that will be produced from
the existing GBS. It is currently with the CNLOPB for review.
At the same time, the Provincial Government and the
proponents have been negotiating the terms under which the Hibernia
Southern Extension would be developed. The non-binding MOU that has been
reached upholds the goal of the Energy Plan
of 10 per cent equity in future projects. The parties will now negotiate
the final, binding formal agreements.
Highlights of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached between
the Provincial Government and the Hibernia partners include: