Another piece of the topside puzzle has been completed for the Hebron gravity based production system, meaning 1,300 workers in Marystown are being laid off.
- Hebron committed to first oil by 2017
- Hebron oil project gets OK as costs balloon by billions
- Hebron flare boom completed in Port aux Basques
The giant drilling support module was moved on to a set of wheels Friday at the Kiewit-Kvaerner fabrication yard in Cow Head.
Final welding is now being done, along with sea trials, and Kiewit said in an email Monday that the 3,500-tonne module will head to Bull Arm "by the end of this year."
It will then be married with other components, like the flare boom made in Port aux Basques and the heli-deck and lifeboat stations from a yard in Bay Bulls.
The module is the "biggest ever to be transported in Newfoundland and Labrador waters," said Marystown Mayor Sam Synard.
Its completion means an end to three years of work at the Marystown shipyard and Synard said there were "major layoffs" in the community last week.
'We know what the game is'
By the end of December, he said, the workforce will be down to about 50 people, a sharp drop from the 1,300 people employed at peak on the drilling support module.
"We know what the game is now," said Synard. "There is a start date and a finish date."
What's next for the fabrication yard at Cow Head is not known.
Meanwhile, another module arrived at Bull Arm late last month from Korea.
It's the derrick equipment set, or DES. It arrived Nov. 20 following a 59-day voyage from Asia.
The DES is the first complete Hebron module, and will be integrated with the other topsides in 2016.
The largest topside is the utilities/process module, of UPM, at some 27,000 tonnes.
Officials with Exxon Mobil say construction on the UPM will continue in 2016 in Korea, but could not provide a completion date.
The accommodations module is also nearing completion at Bull Arm, with assembly and architectural finishing underway, an official with ExxonMobil said recently.
The Hebron project has set late 2017 as a target date for first oil.