Sable Offshore Energy Project

The Sable Offshore Energy Project involved the production of natural gas and condensate from five offshore fields located approximately 225 kilometres off the east coast of Nova Scotia, near Sable Island National Park Reserve.

 

Fun Facts

01

Canada’s first offshore natural gas project.

02

Began production December 1999.

03

Produced a total of 60 billion cubic metres or 2.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from five offshore fields.

04

 Permanent Production Shutdown December 2018.

Status: Decommissioned and Abandoned

The Sable Offshore Energy Project has been permanently decommissioned and abandoned.

History

The Sable Offshore Energy Project is operated by ExxonMobil Canada Ltd., with its partners Shell Canada Limited, Imperial Oil Resources Limited, Pengrowth Energy Corporation (acquired by Cona Resources in 2020) and Mosbacher Operating Ltd. The Sable Offshore Energy Project produced from five offshore gas fields, beginning in December 1999. The fields are: Thebaud, Venture, South Venture, North Triumph, Alma and South Venture.

The Development Plan Application for the Sable Offshore Energy Project estimated there were 85 billion cubic metres (3 trillion cubic feet) of recoverable gas reserves and 11.9 million cubic metres (75 million barrels) of condensate that would be produced over the lifecycle of the project, which was estimated to be approximately 25 years. The production facilities were designed for a production volume of 14.4 million cubic metres per day of raw gas (505 million standard cubic feet per day), yielding 13 million cubic metres per day (460 million standard cubic feet per day) of sales gas.

The Fields

The fields at the Sable Offshore Energy Project were developed in two tiers. Tier I fields are Thebaud, Venture and North Triumph. Thebaud began production on December 31, 1999, followed by Venture and North Triumph in February 2000. Tier II fields are Alma and South Venture. Alma began production in November 2003, followed by South Venture in December 2004. A total of 21 development wells were drilled in the five fields.

Operations

Central facilities were installed at Thebaud for production, compression, utilities and accommodation. Satellite platforms were located at Venture, North Triumph, Alma and South Venture. These were unmanned wellhead platforms. The central Thebaud facility had systems for remote monitoring and control of the other platforms. Each of the unmanned platforms was equipped with a helideck and emergency accommodations. Hydrocarbons produced at the satellite platforms were transported through a system of subsea flowlines to the Thebaud platform for processing and export to shore.

Raw gas from the five fields was separated and dehydrated at the Thebaud platform. The separated gas and hydrocarbon liquids and condensates were then recombined and transported through a subsea pipeline to landfall in the Country Harbour area of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, and then to a gas processing plant at nearby Goldboro, Nova Scotia. There, the gas was conditioned by removing natural gas liquids, condensates and remaining water. The sales gas then flowed to markets in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States through an onshore pipeline. Natural gas liquids and condensate were transported by another onshore pipeline to a fractionation plant at Point Tupper, Nova Scotia for further processing before being sold.

Total gas production from each of the five Sable Offshore Energy Project fields appears in the table below.

Field Name
Total Production - E9M3
(Billions of cubic metres)
Total Production - Bcf
(Billions of cubic feet)
Thebaud
                    14.2 
                   501 
Venture
                    14.0
                   494
North Triumph
                     8.3
                   292
South Venture
                     8.9
                   315
Alma
                    14.6
                   516
Total Production
                    60.0
                  2,118

 

Decommissioning and Abandonment

In late 2017, ExxonMobil began the plugging and abandonment of the 21 Sable Offshore Energy Project production wells, starting with those wells located in the Thebaud field. This process involved the use of the Noble Regina Allen, a jack-up drilling rig, to set a series of mechanical and/or cement plugs in the wellbore to permanently seal each well in accordance with the regulations. This is to prevent hydrocarbons from migrating within or out of the well.

ExxonMobil shut down all production from the remaining Sable Offshore Energy Project producing fields (South Venture and Alma) in December 2018. The plugging and abandonment of all the wells was completed in December 2019. Activities for the decommissioning and removal of the offshore platforms located at each of the five offshore fields fully began in 2019. The heavy lift vessel, the Heerema Marine Contractors Thialf, began facilities removals work in the field in May 2020, and all facilities were removed and the project was fully abandoned and decommissioned by November 2020.

A post-abandonment monitoring program was conducted in the late summer/fall of 2021 to re-confirm the integrity of the well plugging and abandonment program, and to confirm that there is nothing on the seabed that could pose a potential hazard to other commercial ocean users.  Based on the results of this program, in 2022 ExxonMobil will be conducting additional monitoring of the Alma 2 well to further investigate the well condition observed on September 18, 2021, where a number of small bubbles of methane gas were observed to be intermittently released from the former well location.  Three Alma 2 monitoring campaigns, each approximately five days in duration, are currently anticipated to take place during 2022.

Please note that some information related to this project may be archived. For more information, please contact us at info@cnsopb.ns.ca.

Project Information

We publish reports and data on oil and gas activities. View the status of a project and reports related to production, environmental effects monitoring, and industrial benefits, if available, below. You can also view requests made by operators for project deviations, and decisions made by our Chief Safety Officer or Chief Conservation Officer to ensure that regulatory requirements are upheld.

Application Status Operators working in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area must submit an application and an authorization must be granted before this work can begin. View current applications and approval statuses here.

* Operations Authorization – Install/Remove (OA-R) grants approval for a proponent to carry out any activity in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area related to the installation or removal of oil and gas facilities.

* Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (ACW) is required to re-enter, workover, complete, recomplete, suspend or abandon a well or part of it. The application for an ACW is reviewed in conjunction with the operator’s application for an Operations Authorization – Drilling (OA-D) or Operations Authorization – Production (OA-P), as applicable.

* Operations Authorization – Production (OA-P) grants approval for a proponent to carry out any activity in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area related to oil and gas production.

Activity

Applicant

Date Submitted

Approval    Status

Operations/Authorization - Install/Remove - AMENDMENT

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

14/02/22

Approved
(07/03/22)

Operations/Authorization - Install/Remove - AMENDMENT

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

22/07/21

Approved
(15/09/21)

Operations/Authorization - Install/Remove

ExxonMobil Canada Properties 10/02/20

Approved
(01/05/20)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (Alma 1)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

03/10/19

Approved
(18/10/19)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (Alma 2)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

03/10/19

Approved
(18/10/19)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (Alma 3)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

19/09/19

Approved
(18/10/19)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (Alma 4A)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

01/10/19

Approved
(18/10/19)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (South Venture 3)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

25/07/19

Approved
(31/07/19)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (South Venture 2)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

28/03/19

Approved
(05/07/19)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (South Venture 1)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

26/03/19

Approved
(05/07/19)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (Venture 3)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

16/06/18

Approved
(26/09/18)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (Venture 1)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

11/06/18

Approved
(21/08/18)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (Venture 2)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

05/06/18

Approved
(25/10/18)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well” (Venture 5)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

04/06/18

Approved
(21/08/18)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well” (Venture 7)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

04/06/18

Approved
(18/09/18)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well” (Venture 6)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

30/05/18

Approved
(31/08/18)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well” (Venture 4)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

10/04/18

Approved
(21/08/18)

Operations Authorization-Production  - AMENDMENT

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

29/03/8

Approved
(16/07/18)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (North Triumph 1)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

08/03/18

Approved
(04/07/18)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (North Triumph 2)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

08/03/18

Approved
(04/07/18)

Operations Authorization-Production - AMENDMENT

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

17/10/17

Approved
(21/11/17)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (Thebaud 1)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

18/09/17

Approved
(11/12/17)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (Thebaud 2)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

18/09/17

Approved
(11/12/17)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (Thebaud 3)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

18/09/17

Approved
(11/12/17)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (Thebaud 4)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

18/09/17

Approved
(11/12/17)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (Thebaud 5)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

18/09/17

Approved
(11/12/17)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (Thebaud 6)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

18/09/17

Approved
(11/12/17)

Well Approval: Approval to Alter the Condition of a Well (South Venture 2)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

18/09/17

Approved
(12/05/17)

Operations Authorization-Production (renewal)

ExxonMobil Canada Properties

15/12/16

Approved
(28/02/17)

 

Weekly Activity Reports We provide operational updates and production data via weekly activity reports.

Activity reports provide the public with a weekly update of petroleum-related activities in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area. 

* Links below are Adobe Acrobat Files.

Date Document Title
21/03/2022 PDF icon March 21, 2022
09/03/2022 PDF icon March 09, 2022

Monthly Production by Field and WellAs part of our comprehensive Monitoring and Compliance program, our team also monitors oil and gas production from offshore projects. This is required as part of our regulatory mandate of resource conservation. View total production data for the Sable Offshore Energy Project here.

Environmental Effects Monitoring Projects taking place in the Canada-Nova Scotia offshore area are closely monitored to better understand the effects of associated oil and gas activity on the surrounding environment. Learn more about the environmental effects of this offshore project here.

* Learn more about Environmental Effects Monitoring, view our Guiding Framework.

Date Document Title
28/03/2019 PDF icon 2017 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
31/03/2017 PDF icon 2016 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
31/03/2016 PDF icon 2015 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
30/03/2015 PDF icon 2014 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
28/03/2014 PDF icon 2013 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
23/03/2013 PDF icon 2012 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
13/07/2012 PDF icon 2011 Annual Report (revised) – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
31/05/2011 PDF icon 2010 Annual Report (revised) – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
29/01/2010 PDF icon 2009 Annual Report (revised) – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
27/02/2009 PDF icon 2008 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
30/09/2008 PDF icon 2007 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
30/04/2007 PDF icon 2006 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
28/04/2006 PDF icon 2005 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
30/04/2004 PDF icon 2003 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
30/05/2003 PDF icon 2002 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
31/12/2002 PDF icon 2001 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
30/03/2001 PDF icon 2000 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
31/03/2000 PDF icon 1999 Annual Report – Offshore Environmental Effects Monitoring Program

Benefits ReportsFor approved development projects, operators are required to submit annual benefits reports us. View the reports for this project here.

* Links below are Adobe Acrobat Files.

Date Document Title
22/03/2022 PDF icon 2020 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
18/06/2020 PDF icon 2019 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
29/03/2019 PDF icon 2018 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
06/04/2018 PDF icon 2017 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2017 PDF icon 2016 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2016 PDF icon 2015 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2015 PDF icon 2014 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2014 PDF icon 2013 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2013 PDF icon 2012 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
30/03/2012 PDF icon 2011 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2011 PDF icon 2010 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2010 PDF icon 2009 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2009 PDF icon 2008 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2008 PDF icon 2007 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
30/03/2007 PDF icon 2006 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2006 PDF icon 2005 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2005 PDF icon 2004 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2004 PDF icon 2003 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2003 PDF icon 2002 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
29/03/2002 PDF icon 2001 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
30/03/2001 PDF icon 2000 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/2000 PDF icon 1999 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/1999 PDF icon 1998 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/1998 PDF icon 1997 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
31/03/1997 PDF icon 1996 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
29/03/1996 PDF icon 1995 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report
PDF icon 2007 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report – Restatement
PDF icon 2006 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report – Restatement
PDF icon 2005 Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Report – Restatement

Equivalent Standards and ExemptionsUnder certain circumstances, the Accord Acts provide our Chief Safety Officer and/or Chief Conservation Officer with the authority to allow an alternate approach to meeting regulatory requirements. Regulatory Query Forms to request an alternate approach are processed and administered by our Operations/Health, Safety & Environment team.

  • Our Chief Safety Officer and/or Chief Conservation Officer are responsible for approving or declining Regulatory Query proposals, taking into consideration input provided by our technical team.
     
  • Generally speaking, before allowing an alternate approach to regulatory compliance, the Chief Safety Officer and/or Chief Conservation Officer must be convinced that the proposed approach provides a level of safety, environmental protection and conservation equivalent to that provided in regulation.
     
  • We post all in-effect Regulatory Query decisions made by our Chief Safety Officer and/or Chief Conservation Officer on our website, for public information purposes. Note: Regulatory Query decisions made prior to April 13, 2012 are not posted.
     
  • Regulatory Query applications for alternatives under the Occupational Health and Safety provisions of the Accord Acts (Part 3.1 - federal, and Part 3(A) - provincial) are made available for public comment in advance of the decision process. Comments received are reviewed by our Chief Safety Officer and/or Chief Conservation Officer prior to making a Regulatory Query decision.
     
  • Operators are required to submit a Regulatory Query Form to request an alternate approach.
     
  • We have a directive describing the submission process operators should follow when submitting a Regulatory Query Form. Check out the Regulatory Queries Directive on our Legislation and Regulatory Instruments page.

Regulatory Query Decisions

The following are Regulatory Query decisions that have been made by our Chief Safety Officer and/or Chief Conservation Officer for an alternate approach to meeting certain regulatory requirements. You can view the decisions made by clicking on the links in the table below.

Date

Document Title

Author

 

No RQs Currently In Effect