The Hebron topside facilities were attached to the concrete gravity based structure (GBS) at Bull Arm this week, marking another major step for the oil project, as it starts to look more like a completed rig.
"It's a very, very key milestone of the project," Bob Cadigan, said Thursday.
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Cadigan is president and CEO of the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association, or NOIA.
He said the project is now much closer to completion, to "get everything lined up, all the pipes connected."
Cadigan said Hebron is one of many projects in Newfoundland and Labrador coming to the end of its life, as construction wraps up.
"There is a transition now from the development phase in which there was a high degree of employment, to the operations phase where we'll have fewer people but working for the next 30 years," he said.
"So it's a very positive thing."
ExxonMobil Canada, the lead partner of Hebron, said work to join the topsides and GBS was completed Dec. 13 and 14.
"To do that operation, we picked up the topsides with two barges, and then floated them over the top of the GBS," Geoff Parker, Hebron senior project manager, said in a video provided by the company.
"The GBS is now being deballasted [removing the ballast to make it more buoyant] to pick up the topsides from the barges to form the complete Hebron platform.
"Hook up and commissioning will continue until the middle of 2017, when the complete platform will be towed to the Hebron field," Parker explained.
ExxonMobil said in June the Hebron project was 80 per cent complete, and on track to produce first oil in late 2017.