Hibernia Oil Project

by D.J. and Frankie


The Newfoundland and Labrador Hibernia is located 315km east of St. John’s, in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin in a water depth of 80 m and the field consists of two early Cretaceous reservoirs. The Hibernia is located at average depths of depth of 3,700m and 2,400m.
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What is the Hibernia Oil Project?

The Hibernia was first discovered in 1979 by Chevron. The rig was towed to the oil feild in June 1997, and started pumping oil in November 17, 1997. The Hibernia has many partners: ExxonMobil Canada Properties, Chevron Canada Resources, Suncor, the Canadian Hibernia Holding Corporation, Murphy oil and Statoil.The oil field produces an adverage of 126,000 barrels per day, an estimated 1.395 billion barrels of crude oil potentially recoverable over the field life. The gravity-based platform weighs over one million tonnes.
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How the Hibernia is built

The Hibernia platform consists of three separate components. The Topsides, the Gravity Base Structure and the Offshore loading system. The rig is half the height of the Empire State Building in New York city. The building is 449 metres and 33 metres taller than the Calgary Tower (191 metres).
The Topsides are supported by a massive concrete pedestal called the Gravity Base Structure (GBS). The GBS was constructed in Bull Arm, Newfoundland & Labrador. It sits on the ocean floor, and is 111 metres high and can store a capacity of 1.3 million barrels of crude oil, and is 85-metre-high. The GBS is designed to withstand the ocean ice and icebergs to allow for year-round production.
A icewall was built surrounding the caisson. It has 16 concrete teeth, that are 4.5-ft thick. Ben C. Gerwick, played a key role in developing this icewall. There is an X and V walls. Both walls vary from 2-3 ft and the tiewall is 3ft thick, these form the icebelt.
Topsides accommodate drilling. Producing and utility equipment on the Hibernia platform, and provide living quarters for the steady-state crew of around 185 people. These Topsides are designed for a capacity of 230,000 barrels of crude oil production per day. The C-NOPB gave HMDC permission to increase its annual production rate to 220,000 barrels per day in 2003.

external image p13_platform.jpgHibernia Ice ManagementThe Hibernia Oil field platform is located in the middle of the ocean, which causes them to be hit with many obstacles. For example the Hibernia built an ice wall with teeth to destroy icebergs and protect the rig. For more information on how they use the ice wall and remove the icebergs away from the rig, visit: http://www.hibernia.ca/ice.html.




For more information on Hibernia and Exxon:


Suite 1000
100 New Gower Street
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
A1C 6K3


Phone: (709) 778-7000
Fax: (709) 722-0022