Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Producing Projects: Sable Island

If you pick up the latest copy of Atlantic Business Magazine (and I suggest you do), in it you'll find Natural Resources Magazine. This is published twice a year as a special supplement to Atlantic Business.

It turns out that, outside the Publisher's Note, every article in this issue was penned by your truly. There are 4 articles on current energy producing projects along with energy projects to come, the Atlantic energy superstore, energy transportation, energy-related work outsourced into this region and finally energy-related opportunities for local companies at locations overseas.

As usual, now that the magazine has hit the stands, I'll be posting each story here for cyber-posterity.


The Sable Offshore Energy Project is Canada’s first offshore natural gas project and is located 200 kilometres off Nova Scotia’s east coast. At 500 million cubic feet per day, Sable represents about three percent of the country’s total natural gas output.

Discovered in 1971, Sable was developed in two tiers or phases. The first, completed in December 1999, accessed the Thebaud, North Triumph and Venture fields and included construction of three offshore platforms, an onshore gas plant and an onshore fractionation plant. First gas was produced on December 31, 1999.

Alma, the first Tier II platform came onstream in late 2003; the second, South Venture, commenced production in late in 2004. The development of a third field, Glenelg, was put on hold after development drilling results determined the field to be uneconomic.

The hub of Sable offshore activity is the Thebaud platform. Gas produced from the satellite platforms as well as from Thebaud undergoes preliminary processing at this facility and from there it is transported by pipeline to the Goldboro Plant in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, for processing.

Natural gas liquids (a by-product of Goldboro processing) are separated out and piped to the Point Tupper Fractionation Plant on Cape Breton Island, where the liquids are separated into propane, butane and condensate.

The processed gas is piped directly to markets in the Maritimes and the Northeast US.

The original Thebaud facility was upgraded with a new compression platform, a 7600 tonne unit that pushes gas to shore rather than relying on natural production pressure. This enhancement has boosted production at all 5 fields by 25%, to 500 million cubic feet per day.

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