Shell Wins $970M Offshore Nova Scotia Ultra-Deepwater Exploration Bid, Largest Ever for Eastern Canada

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Royal Dutch Shell has won a $970 million bid (NS 11-1) for exploration rights offshore Nova Scota, says the Canada – Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB).

This 9-year license covers rights to explore 4 offshore fields located approximately 250 kilometers south of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Speaking with Tanya White, Manager, Public Relations & Administration for the CNSOPD, seismic surveys will begin, followed by exploratory drilling during the latter part of their license.  These parcels are all located in waters between 1400 and 3750 meters deep, which is the top-end range of any new ultra deepwater drilling rig currently available on the market today.

As winner of this bid, Shell is required to post a deposit of $242,500,000, or 25 percent of the amount of the bid, to demonstrate their commitment to conduct the intended work.

In order to even qualify to bid for this work package, bidders must have experience in the drilling of exploration wells in water depths greater than 800 metres in the past ten years.

Shell demonstrated that it has extensive worldwide experience in deepwater drilling including involvement in three previous deepwater exploratory wells drilled offshore Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

“These Work Expenditure Bids are the highest received to date for parcels offshore of Canada’s east coast,” says Stuart Pinks, CNSOPB Chief Executive.

“These lands are located offshore Southwest Nova Scotia where recent studies have identified oil potential.  It is also important for our community to know that we have a regulatory regime in place which serves to ensure that petroleum activities are only conducted by competent parties in a manner which holds the health and safety of offshore workers and the protection of the offshore environment paramount.”

The next Call for Bids will be issued in May 2012 with nominations now being accepted until March 16, 2012.

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