The following table provides a sequential list of events that were important to the discovery and development of the Hibernia oil field.

Hibernia Development Milestones

First scientific report on geological samples from the Grand Banks

Reference: Verrill, A.E. 1878. Occurrence of fossiliferous Tertiary rocks on the Grand Banks and Georges Bank, American Journal of Science, Ser. 3, V 1, 323-324.

Early 1950's
First geophysical survey (refraction seismic) on the Grand Banks

Reference: Press, F. and Beckman, W.C. 1954. Geophysical investigations in the emerged and submerged Atlantic Coastal Plain: Part VIII, Grand Banks and adjacent shelves, Geological Society of America Bulletin, V 65, 299-313.

June 1964
First direct geological investigation of Grand Banks bedrock

Three dives were completed on the Virgin Rocks by H.D. Lilly of Memorial University of Newfoundland & Labrador using scuba.

Reference: Lilly, H.D. 1965. Submarine examination of the Virgin Rock area, Grand Banks, Newfoundland: preliminary note, Geological Society of America Bulletin, V 76, 131

January 15, 1965
Mobil Oil Canada (MOCAN) acquired its original federal Exploratory Permits on the Grand Banks

These first permits covered 13.5 million acres. Federal Exploratory Permits issued in 1965 and 1967 each had terms of six years with rights to extend another six years by consecutive one-year periods.

June 7, 1966
First well spudded on the Grand Banks (Pan Am Tors Cove D-52)
September 15, 1966
Completed first industry seismic data acquisition program on MOCAN's northern Grand Banks acreage

Program Number 8620-M3-4E

June 16, 1967
MOCAN filed for additional federal Exploratory Permits in slightly deeper water east of its existing acreage on the Grand Banks

This second set of permits covered an additional 3.5 million acres

April 24, 1970
Gulf and MOCAN enter an acreage exchange agreement which yields a 25% share of a portion of MOCAN's Grand Banks acreage to Gulf

The acreage exchange involved 11 million acres of MOCAN's Grand Banks block and Gulf's Mackenzie Delta and Beaufort Sea blocks

July 14, 1971
First well spudded in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin

Amoco Imperial Murre G-67

December 17, 1971
First flow of oil in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin

268 barrels oil per day, 310 API gravity, 200 mcf/d gas from Mobil Gulf Adolphus 2K-41, the fourth well in Jeanne d'Arc Basin and second well drilled offshore Newfoundland & Labrador by MOCAN and Gulf

September 10, 1973
First penetration of prolific Upper Jurassic source rock

Egret Member of the Rankin Formation drilled at Amoco Imperial Skelly Egret K-36, the fifth well in Jeanne d'Arc Basin

Resource: Swift, J.H. and Williams, J.A. 1980. Petroleum source rocks, Grand Banks area. In: Miall, A.D. (Ed.) Facts and Principles of World Petroleum Occurrence, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 6, 567-588.

January 3, 1975
End of pre-Hibernia drilling in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin

Mobil Gulf Adolphus D-50

January 15, 1978
MOCAN and Gulf negotiated four Special Renewal Permits (SRPs) on their expiring exploration permits

From 1970 to 1978 MOCAN's 17 million acre land position had been reduced to 6.4 million acres by high grading the most prospective areas. The four SRPs each covered about 1 million acres and were issued with initial terms of three years. In accordance with 1977 amendments to the Canada Oil and Gas Land Regulations, a well had to be drilled on each of the four SRPs. The four SRPs were extended by a year on January 15, 1981 and again on January 15, 1982.

January 15, 1978
Suncor exercised its option to acquire a 25% working interest in the four SRP areas, leaving MOCAN with 56.25% and Gulf with 18.75%
February 5, 1979
Chevron and Columbia Gas farmed into portions of two SRPs that covered the Hibernia structure and surrounding areas. Resultant interests in the Chevron farmout block were MOCAN at 28.125%, Gulf at 25%, Suncor at 25%, Chevron at 16.40625% and Columbia Gas at 5.46875%.

Chevron agreed to operate a well to be drilled into the Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic on the Hibernia prospect to earn 50% of MOCAN's 56.25% interest in six grids (about 525,000 acres). Gulf acquired an additional 6.25 % interest from Chevron under a separate agreement. Chevron farmed out 25% of its remaining 21.875% to Columbia Gas Development of Canada Ltd.

May 27, 1979
Hibernia P-15 spudded. This was the 45th well drilled in Grand Banks region, and the 10th well drilled in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin.

Discovery well Chevron et al.

September 19, 1979
First flow of oil on drillstem test from Hibernia P-15

800 BOPD, 320 API and 0.2 Mmcf/d gas on openhole test of Upper Jurassic sandstone

January 1980
First delineation well spud on the Hibernia discovery (Hibernia O-35)

This well discovered a thick oil-bearing interval of Ben Nevis and Avalon sandstones, though the Hibernia Formation was water-bearing at this location.

In January 1980, it was reported that subsequent drillstem tests indicated a total capacity of 20,000 BOPD. This made Hibernia P-15 the most productive oil well in Canada to date according to GSC Paper 92-8.

February 22, 1981
The only dry hole at Hibernia was drilled (Hibernia G-55)

G-55 drilled a thick interval of Ben Nevis and Avalon sandstone in a structurally high location alongside the basin-bounding Murre Fault.

September 22, 1981
The first Hibernia 3D seismic survey, which was also the first 3D survey offshore Eastern Canada, was completed

This survey was shot in two parts: 1980 and 1981.

February 15, 1982
Ocean Ranger semi-submersible capsized with all 84 crew lost
January 15, 1983
MOCAN and the Canada Oil and gas Lands Administration (COGLA) negotiated work obligations for their new exploration agreements

The new exploration agreement covering the Hibernia discovery (EA 195) covered 36,436 hectares (90,090 acres) and had a term of 29 months. EA 195 required drilling of one delineation well and one exploration well, a Hibernia Environmental Impact Statement (to be completed by November 15, 1984) and a Hibernia Development Plan/Canada Benefits Plan (to be completed by June 15, 1985). The drilling requirements were satisfied by Hibernia B-27 and Mara M-54.

July 14, 1984
Completion of first delineation drilling program on Hibernia oilfield (Mobil et al. Hibernia C-96)

This was the ninth delineation well drilled following the P-15 discovery well.

December 31, 1985
Completed reprocessing and re-interpretation of 1980/1981 Hibernia 3D seismic survey
September 1988
Columbia Gas sold its share in the Hibernia oilfield to Chevron

Resource: Reported in a September 14, 1988 newspaper article

December 21, 1988
The Hibernia Management and Development Company (HMDC) was created to act as the operating company for the Hibernia oil and gas field

HMDC was formed to design, construct, install, and operate the Hibernia drilling and production platform, as well as being responsible for all reservoir management activities.

October 1990
Construction of the camp and other components of the Bull Arm site began
October 5, 1991
Second Hibernia 3D seismic survey completed
February 4, 1992
Gulf Canada Resources announced its intention to withdraw from the Hibernia project

Gulf was still required to fund its 25% until a total of $1 billion had been spent on project.

September 1992
Drydock construction of the GBS commenced at Bull Arm
November 1992
PASSB commenced fabrication of the M-20 Wellhead Module at Bull Arm

The M-10 Process Module and the M-50 Living Quarters/Service Module were built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea, while the M-30 Mud Module and the M-40 Utility Module were built by Belleli s.p.a. in Italy

March 1993
Gulf's 25% share assumed by the Government of Canada (8.5%), Murphy Oil (6.5%), Mobil (5%), and Chevron (5%)

The government shares are held by the Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation. The C-NLOPB was formally notified by HMDC on March 29, 1993.

January 1, 1996
Suncor and StatoilHydro Canada Ltd. conclude agreements that gave StatoilHydro a 5% interest in the Hibernia oilfield among other assets

Additionally, StatoilHydro Canada Ltd. received 15% in the Terra Nova development and 30% of Petro-Canada's interests in all Significant Discovery Areas in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin. Petro-Canada received 9% in the Veslefrikk field and 7.5% in the Njord field as announced in a July 5, 1996 news release.

July 5, 1996
StatoilHydro Canada Ltd. received 15% in the Terra Nova development and 30% of Petro-Canada's interests in all Significant Discovery Areas in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin

In addition, Petro-Canada received 9% in the Veslefrikk field and 7.5% in the Njord field.

February 28, 1997
Hibernia Production Topsides and Gravity Base Structure mated

The completed platform was 224 metres high, equivalent to a 75 story building. It weighed almost 600,000 tonnes at the time of mating.

May 23, 1997
Towout of the Hibernia platform began with an average towing speed of just over 2 knots
June 6, 1997
Hibernia platform installed on the seabed at the Hibernia field
July 28, 1997
Spud first development well (Hibernia B-16 1)

B-16 2 spud three days later

November 17, 1997
First oil production

First oil production from Hibernia B-16 1 well; one month ahead of schedule.

December 26, 1997
Canadian record flow rate set

Rate attained over a 24-hour period

December 26, 1997
First oil tanker load completed

840,000 barrels of oil shipped on the MT Kometik (13,3335 m3 gross). Loading started on December 21, 1998.

May 27, 1998
Water injection commences on B-16 7
August 7, 1998
Completed reprocessing of 1991 3D survey
October 2, 1998
Whiffen Head transshipment terminal receives first shipment of Hibernia crude

Whiffen Head transshipment terminal received 846,000 barrels oil gross load (134,531 m3). 169,000 barrels (26,869 m3) of this load was later sent to the Come-by-Chance refinery.

January 26, 1999
Gas injection commences on B-16 10
April 10, 1999
Completed longest reach well in Canada (Hibernia B-16 11)

8,485 m. measured length, surpassing records set by Hibernia B-16 5 and B-16 10Z.

October 18, 2000
HMDC increased annual oil production limit from 49.5 million barrels to 66 million barrels
September 2, 2009
HMDC's Development Plan approved for the AA Block from the Gravity Base Structure
March 12, 2009
A Cougar helicopter transporting offshore workers to the Grand Banks crashed. Tragically 17 workers died and one worker was injured.
April 3, 2010
The OPA2 well reached total depth of 10,122 metres

The final total depth makes it the longest well in Canada and in the top 10 longest wells in North America.

December 21, 2016
HMDC and ExxonMobil Canada announced the Hibernia GBS produced its one billionth barrel of oil

The milestone represents an amount higher than originally expected when the field started production in 1997.

November 17, 2017
HMDC celebrated the 20th anniversary of Hibernia first oil