Nfld. & Labrador

While Suncor decides its fate, Terra Nova FPSO will be tied up in Bull Arm

The contract with D.F. Barnes could see the Terra Nova at dockside for six months or longer.

Contract with D.F. Barnes could see the Terra Nova at dockside for six months or longer

The Terra Nova FPSO will soon sail out of Conception Bay and into Trinity Bay. Suncor Energy confirmed Friday the oil production vessel will be tied up at the Bull Arm fabrication facility for the foreseeable future. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Suncor Energy has confirmed the Terra Nova floating production, storage and offloading vessel will be tied up at the Bull Arm fabrication facility in Trinity Bay while the company decides its fate.

The Calgary-based company has signed a contract with D.F. Barnes — the company operating Bull Arm — that will allow the oil production vessel to be tied up for six months, with an option for it to stay there longer if required.

The aging Terra Nova stopped producing oil in the offshore nearly a year ago.

It's been floating in Conception Bay for weeks, serving as a visible sign of the crisis affecting the province's oil industry.

It was supposed to be in Spain this year, undergoing a refit that would extend its life by a decade, and allow for the recovery of up to 80 million more barrels of oil in the Terra Nova field.

But that contract was derailed by the pandemic, and Suncor is now carrying out a sweeping review to determine the best way to return the vessel to the Grand Banks.

In the meantime, like many companies connected to the offshore, Suncor has been reducing its workforce.

One hundred contract workers will be let go at the end of this month.

The company has not commented on the future of the 300 people who work directly for Suncor in the province.

The Terra Nova FPSO will become the third major oil asset to be parked at Bull Arm as the industry struggles amid a pandemic that has caused worldwide upheaval in the oil and gas industry. With offshore exploration at a low point, the drill rigs Henry Goodrich and the West Aquarius are also idled at Bull Arm, the same site where the Hibernia and Hebron platforms were built.

The only rig now operating in the offshore, the Transocean Barents, is finishing a drilling campaign for Equinor in the Flemish Pass.

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