Canada Markets closed

Cenovus to restart Atlantic Canada oilfield project shelved during pandemic

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

By Rithika Krishna and Nia Williams

(Reuters) -Cenovus Energy and its partners said on Tuesday they will restart the West White Rose oilfield project off the coast of Atlantic Canada in 2023, more than two years after pausing it as the COVID-19 pandemic battered oil prices.

Major construction activities on the West White Rose project, which is expected to add 14 years of production to the White Rose oilfield, were suspended in April 2020. Since then oil prices have recovered and surged to a 13-year high in March.

The decision comes just weeks after the Canadian government approved Equinor ASA's Bay du Nord deepwater project, also off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, and a major boost to the economy of the eastern province.

"With the project about 65% complete, combined with the work done over the past 16 months to firm up cost estimates and rework the project plan, we are confident in our decision to restart this project in 2023," Cenovus Chief Executive Alex Pourbaix said in a statement.

The Calgary-based company said first oil from the platform is anticipated in the first half of 2026. Peak production is expected to be about 80,000 barrels per day by the end of 2029.

Cenovus and partner Suncor Energy have restructured the ownership of the White Rose project and satellite oilfields, so that Suncor owns a larger share.

Analysts at energy consultancy Tudor Pickering Holt said the remaining capital expenditure is expected to be C$3.5 billion-C$4.1 billion ($3.24 billion).

Trades NL, a Newfoundland and Labrador labor organization representing 16 unions, welcomed the decision, which it said will create 250 jobs on the oil platform and up 1,500 jobs during construction.

"We recognize the importance of this immense opportunity – that its revival will create jobs for thousands of workers and help them to support their families and communities," executive director Darin King said in a statement.

($1 = 1.2641 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Bernadette Baum)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting