The Shell Oil offshore drilling program, expected to start up in September, is still not underway due to permit delays. Three suppliers are idle in Halifax waiting for the drill ship Stena IceMAX to arrive from the Gulf of Mexico.
Farthest from the camera Jones Tide, then Skandi Flora are awaiting Shell's start up. Scotian Sea in the foreground is awaiting its next assignment. At right Atlantic Condor sails for Deep Panuke.
The third Shell supplier, Breaux Tide, is tied up at the Mobil dock in Dartmouth, so the suppliers that usually use that dock are now using Pier 9C.
Jones Tide doing trials on October 3.
All is not well off Sable Island where the two gas projects are winding down well before the end of their expected life spans.
Sable Offshore Energy Project (Exxon Mobil, Shell Canada, Imperial Oil, Mosbacher and Pengrwouth) is talking of decommissioning to start in 2017. It will be a major project to dismantle the well and production platform, and lead partner Exxon is considering Point Tupper as the base for that work.
First gas was in 1999 with an expected life of 25 years, but production has been diminishing for several years.
Meanwhile at nearby Deep Panuke, production has been off and on recently due to large quantities of water. Its first gas was in 2013 and instead of 13 years of production, the field may only have two years left. Operator Encana is now said to be considering selling the project (but who would buy it with that prognosis?)
Supply boats will still be needed for several years no matter what happens to the gas fields, but it seems unlikely that there will be actual development in oil fields beyond exploration drilling unless the price of oil goes up again.