BP Canada Adds Offshore Partner
BP Canada (“BP”) has partnered with Hess Corporation (“Hess”) in its ongoing offshore oil exploration program. Hess has taken a 40% interest in BP’s work commitment of $1 billion with respect to four deep-water exploration blocks off the coast of Nova Scotia. BP will remain the operator for its four exploration licences, which are located approximately 300 kilometres off the coast of Nova Scotia.
BP also recently announced an acceleration of its exploration program and has advanced the target date for drilling its first exploratory well to 2017. BP has been carrying out a seismic survey of the seabed to evaluate the geology underneath and identify areas that could contain oil or natural gas. While the seismic survey will continue into next year, BP has acquired enough data to begin selecting possible well locations in either 2015 or 2016. BP’s exploration licences cover, in the aggregate, an area of nearly 14,000 km2 and range from 100 metres to over 3,000 metres in depth.
In the spring of this year, Shell Canada (“Shell”) made a similar decision with regard to its exploration plans and announced it was partnering with ConocoPhillips and Suncor Energy. Shell entered into an agreement with ConocoPhillips and Suncor Energy to become joint venture partners with respect to the exploration and development of Shell’s $1 billion offshore exploration project in the Shelburne Basin. Shell remains the operator of the project and maintains a 50% interest in six exploration licenses that cover a contiguous area of 19,845 km2 located roughly 300 km off the coast of Nova Scotia. As joint venture partners, ConocoPhillips and Suncor Energy have acquired a 30% non-operating interest and a 20% non-operating interest, respectively.