We’re an active player in Canada—one of the most resource-rich countries in the world with the third-largest proven crude oil reserves globally. East Coast Canada licenses are high priority within our global portfolio. 

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How to find us in Canada

Offshore licences in Canada

We are active in some of the most exciting energy resource areas in Canada, owning interests in several exploration, development and production licenses offshore Newfoundland where we are applying deepwater development lessons learned from our work on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Leading a new offshore era

We have been present offshore Newfoundland and Labrador since 1996, when Norsk Hydro first acquired assets. Through our operating and partner fields, we are making significant investments in Canada’s offshore industry. Our ambition is to become an operator offshore East Coast Canada.

In 2015, we strengthened our long-term position in the Canadian offshore by acquiring six exploration licenses in the Flemish Pass Basin, and two licenses offshore Nova Scotia where we will apply the exploration knowledge and experience we have gained globally and in the North Atlantic specifically.

The growth of Statoil’s portfolio offshore Newfoundland and new entry offshore Nova Scotia strengthens the company’s long-term position in the Canadian offshore.

Offshore Newfoundland is known to have a harsh environment for petroleum operations, with seasonal icebergs, wind and waves as well as deep water depths.  With our vast experience as an operator in the Norwegian Continental Shelf and as a partner in established developments offshore Newfoundland, Statoil is well-equipped to deal with these challenges. 

The continued appraisal and maturation of our Bay du Nord discovery highlights the progress we are making in potential field development. 

General Newfoundland offshore facts

Offshore production in Newfoundland equals approximately 40% of Canada’s light crude production.

Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore resource potential estimated at more than six billion barrels of oil.


  • Mizzen—our first discovery made in 2009 in the Basin.
  • Harpoon—discovery was announced in 2013 with further appraisal required.
  • Bay du Nord—discovery is estimated to hold more than 300 million barrels of light, high-quality crude oil.
  • Bay de Verde—discovered in 2016 with further appraisal required; located adjacent to the Bay du Nord discovery. 
  • Baccalieu—discovered in 2016 with further appraisal required; tie-in distance to the Bay du Nord discovery.

The discoveries are in a water depth of about 1,100 metres, located within 10 to 20 kilometres of each other, and about 500 kms offshore from St. John’s, the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador. Husky Energy is a 35% partner in all five discoveries, while we retain the other 65%. With the discovery of Bay du Nord, Newfoundland became a core area in our exploration portfolio.

The geology of the Flemish Pass Basin is very encouraging. The reservoir offers excellent Jurassic reservoirs with high porosity, high permeability and mature source rocks. The geology is very similar to what we experience in the NCS and the discoveries at Bay du Nord and Harpoon offer light, high-quality crude oil.

We have operated a number of exploration programs offshore Newfoundland since 2007. Statoil completed an 19-month drilling program offshore Newfoundland in June 2016 using the West Hercules rig.


  • ExxonMobil-operated Hebron (9%) field development, first oil is expected in late-2017
  • Suncor-operated Terra Nova (15%) producing asset
  • ExxonMobil-operated Hibernia (5%) producing asset/Hibernia Southern Extension (9%)

The Hibernia oil field has proven and probable field reserves totalling about 1.35 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil, making it the province's largest producing field to date.

The Terra Nova oil field is the second-largest field in production off Canada’s east coast, with proven reserves of about 500 million barrels of recoverable crude. It is the first harsh environment development in North America to use a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. 

Investing in local communities

We have a strong commitment to local investment in Canada and we aim to put local communities first in everything we do. We believe that bringing long-term value to local communities is important to the sustainability of our business and to the economic prosperity of the region.

We work to maintain the strong relationships we have built by aligning our business activities and investing in areas that promote local involvement in our operations. 

Sustainability is no longer just about doing business responsibly – it’s also about seeing social and sustainability challenges as opportunities for innovation and development. Statoil strives to create shared value opportunities by working closing with communities and aligning our business activities so that we can proactively and effectively create local value. We use a model of collaboration and partnership to address challenges and create value for local communities and for our business. This approach is integrated into our corporate social responsibility practices and guides our local content and social investment considerations. We promote social sustainability through a number of areas, including involvement in Statoil’s tendering process to promote local sourcing, through social investment programs, as well as through strategic multi-organization partnerships and initiatives.

Offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, we have a Benefits Plan in place in which we have made a commitment to providing opportunities to Canada and, in particular Newfoundland and Labrador. This means that personnel and companies from Canadian Newfoundland and Labrador will have full and fair opportunity to compete for the supply of goods and services, research and development, and employment vacancies—with priority going to the province.


To build Statoil’s knowledge of the cold and icy waters of eastern Canada, the company has led a collaborative research expedition in the harsh environment offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

The 18-day expedition was a joint initiative between Statoil, ArcticNet, the Research and Development Corporation, Husky Energy, as well as other representatives from academia and industry. The team of 40 scientists and technicians participated in the program aboard the Amundsen, a Canadian Coast Guard-operated research icebreaker including six representatives from Statoil. 

Through this project, Statoil kept safety top-of-mind while field-testing technologies, which will provide new data and valuable insight specific to the area. In addition to the equipment available on the Amundsen, Statoil deployed its own metocean and sea-ice measurement mooring equipment in strategic locations offshore. These measurements secured long-term statistics including sea ice thickness and drift, an important design parameter for any future offshore installation.


  • New techniques for iceberg profiling, improved iceberg drift forecasts, and advanced datasets.
  • Testing of new technologies for remote sensing and ice detection capabilities such as satellite imagery for detection of ice and icebergs in low visibility conditions, as well as marine radars to discriminate between first year and multi-year ice.
  • Operation and comparative analysis of marine mammal detection and tracking tools, including an innovative Statoil-initiated target range finder, plus sophisticated active sonar for mammal detection.
  • Field-testing of an autonomous system, to measure and transmit data on winds, wave height, water current speed and direction, plus other metrological parameters.

From these new insights, Statoil and the local research community will strengthen forecasting models for sea ice and iceberg surveillance, potentially reducing the number of disconnections from drilling rigs.

Heroes of tomorrow

Statoil is a supporter of local communities in Canada through three main sponsorship pillars covering arts and culture, sports and STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics).

Facilitated by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (NLAC), the ArtsSmarts program is aimed at inspiring children to develop their creative abilities by increasing arts and cultural activities in classroom curriculums. In 2014, Statoil joined the program that provides funding for schools to bring professional artists into the classroom. As part of Statoil’s ongoing commitment we established the Statoil ArtsSmarts scholarship, which is awarded to a Newfoundland and Labrador high school student who is enrolled for first year full-time art studies in a degree or diploma program at a Canadian university or college.

Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival:
The three-day, annual festival boasts an impressive line-up of artists and activities for families, as well as folk-inspired instrument and youth music workshops aimed at keeping the tradition of folk music alive in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Statoil sponsors a youth songwriters workshop as well as the Statoil MusicNL NewFound Talent Contest.

Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE):
MATE's underwater robotics competition uses underwater robots or remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to prepare students for technical careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  Since 2012, Statoil has sponsored the regional competition in St. John's Newfoundland that challenges high school students to build ROVs to tackle missions modelled after scenarios from the ocean workplace and that are critical to oil and gas development.

St. John's Ice Caps & Buddy's Book Club:
Statoil entered into sponsorship with the Ice Caps AHL Hockey team to support sports talent development and an annual youth volunteer recognition night for efforts in the local community.  In addition, we also support Buddy’s Book Club Summer Reading Program, which promotes increased literacy and year-long learning to school-aged children across the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

During the past three summers, over 1000 students participated in the program helping students look forward to learning and for enhancing their reading and focus skills.