The Hibernia platform has three separate components - Topsides, Gravity Base Structure (GBS) and Offshore Loading System (OLS).
The Topsides is composed of five modules, three of which support production (process, wellhead and mud modules), a utilities module and an accommodations module. The accommodations module houses the eating and sleeping quarters for the approximately 185 crew working offshore, as well as offices, meeting areas, and exercise/recreation facilities.
The accommodations module also contains the temporary safe refuge (TSR) in the event of an emergency. The TSR provides emergency power, radio communications and medical facilities. Also located here are the main lifeboat station, helideck and Selantic Skyscape evacuation system.
The topsides is supported by a massive concrete pedestal called the Gravity Base Structure (GBS) which sits on the ocean floor and has storage capacity for 1.3 million barrels of crude oil in its 85-metre-high caisson. The GBS is specially designed to withstand the impact of sea ice and icebergs to allow for year-round production.
The Offshore Loading System (OLS) is a network of transmission pipelines that offloads oil from the Hibernia platform onto large shuttle tankers. The flow line running along the sea floor from the platform to the loading system is a heavy steel pipe with a thick protective layer of concrete. Hibernia's ice management strategy keeps icebergs away from the platform area but, in the event that an iceberg does encroach into the loading area, the OLS can be flushed to minimize risk to the environment.
Transshipment is a two-stage transportation process for moving crude oil to market. Hibernia primarily uses two massive shuttle tankers, each weighing in at 127,000 deadweight tonnes. They are ice reinforced, double hull and double bottom vessels with segregated cargo and ballast tanks. These tankers carry the oil to a transshipment terminal in Whiffen Head where it is stored in tanks until it is transferred to a conventional (second leg) tanker and shipped to market.
The Hibernia platform is designed to resist the impact of sea ice and icebergs and can withstand the impact of a one-million tonne iceberg with no damage. It can withstand contact with a six million tonne iceberg, estimated to be the largest that can drift into that water depth and only expected once in 10,000 years, with repairable damage.
Because the Hibernia platform is located in relatively shallow water - just 80 metres deep - the odds of a large iceberg ever hitting the platform are extremely low. Those odds are lessened considerably by Hibernia's aggressive ice management strategy, a combination of science, technology, teamwork and old-fashioned seafaring skill.
Status: In production
Discovery date: 1979
First oil: November 17, 1997
Water depth: 80 m (262 ft)
ExxonMobil Canada Properties (33.125%)
Chevron Canada Resources (26.875%)
Canada Hibernia Holding Corp. (8.5%)
Murphy Oil (6.5%)
Operator: Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd.
1.644 million barrels of oil
2.353 tcf of natural gas
Production to date:
Hibernia produced its one billionth barrel of oil on December 21, 2016.
Production life: 20 years (approximate) beyond 2020
Total project investment:
• Pre-production capital investment $5.8 billion CDN
• Expenditures are estimated between $300 - 400 million CDN per year
Employment: Drilling and production phases - up to 800 people onshore and offshore (approximately 90% are Newfoundlanders)
For further information:
Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd.
100 New Gower St., Suite 1000
St. John's, NL A1C 6K3
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