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Our Arctic experience

View a short video summarizing our 90+ years of industry experience in Arctic operating conditions:

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Our Arctic experience

1920 – Discovery of the world’s most northerly oil field at the time Norman Wells, located in the Canadian Northwest Territories 1,450 kilometers north of Edmonton, has been operated by ExxonMobil affiliate Imperial Oil Limited since continuous production began in 1932.

1920 – 1930 – First commercial oil field and refinery in arctic conditions

1965 – Granite Point field discovered, located in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, began production less than two years after ExxonMobil discovered it in 1965.

1966 – First ExxonMobil ice-resistant platform installed (Granite Point)

1967 – Granite Point production start-up

1968 – Prudhoe Bay field discovered

1969 – First oil tanker transit through the Canadian Northwest Passage - ExxonMobil led the world’s first demonstration voyage of a commercial tanker, the SS Manhattan, through the Northwest Passage in the summer of 1969.

1972 – Offshore Technology Conference Award for contribution to marine history by SS Manhattan voyage

1973 – First artificial exploration island; World’s largest outdoor ice-test basin, Beaufort Sea. At Prudhoe Bay, ExxonMobil conducted the world’s largest ice-strength characterization tests on level ice.

1975 – Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System started - The 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) is among the world’s longest pipeline systems. The pipeline was built on elevated pylons to allow caribou to migrate freely along the corridor.

1977 – Prudhoe Bay production start-up

1978 – First development of commercial ice island construction method; World’s largest ice-strength tests

1981-1985 – Iceberg surveys in the Grand Banks. Between 1981 and 1985, ExxonMobil studied more than 700 icebergs in the Grand Banks using both aerial photography and underwater profiling to determine iceberg drift velocity, size and mass distributions.

1984 – Pond Inlet Joint Industry Project on Baffin Island

1985 – First gravel production island - Norman Wells - Some of the first applications of gravel islands for production were employed at Norman Wells.

1987 – Start-up of first offshore Beaufort Sea production system

1988 – Northern-most offshore well at the time drilled with mobile offshore drilling unit (Barents Sea)

1988-1994 – Ice Data Acquisition Program in the Barents Sea. In 1988, ExxonMobil drilled the northernmost offshore well at the time in the iceberg-prone Norwegian Barents Sea with a mobile offshore drilling unit. To better understand and quantify iceberg hazards in this area, ExxonMobil established the Ice Data Acquisition Program (IDAP) with the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.

1989 – World’s largest ice-spray exploration island

1990 – Outstanding Achievement Award for civilian applications of NASA technology for heat pipe development. In 1990, ExxonMobil’s heat pipe work was recognized by the United States Space Foundation with an Outstanding Achievement Award for civilian applications of NASA technology.

1995 – Grappling Island iceberg impact tests

1997 – Hibernia start-up; First iceberg-resistant gravity-based structure (GBS). Hibernia is designed to withstand contact with a six million ton iceberg, without harm to workers, the environment or operations.

1997  Unique sea ice data collection offshore Sakhalin

2001 – Iceberg impact field program offshore Newfoundland and Labrador

2002 - World’s largest land-based drilling rig installed; Primorye tanker ice trials

2002 – Terra Nova production start-up; Installation of dis-connectable FPSO

2005  Sakhalin-1 production start-up; Orlan offshore platform installed. Before operations began at Sakhalin-1, early ice studies were conducted in partnership with the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.

2006  World’s largest fixed-tower single point mooring (SPM) system installed

2010  Odoptu field production start-up. Using ExxonMobil’s proprietary Fast Drill Process and Integrated Hole Quality technologies, these Sakhalin-1 wells are the fastest drilled, extended reach wells in the world.

  • Hibernia OPA2 drill well, Canada’s longest extended reach well at 11,000 kilometers

2011 – Hibernia Southern Extension first oil; First subsea tie-back project to a gravity-based structure

2012 World’s longest ERD well Z-44 completed

  • Construction of the Hebron project started

2013 – Conducted environmental research and impact studies

  • Conducted ice management program trials
  • Completed initial seismic acquisition survey
  • Joint Arctic Research Center with Rosneft

2014 – World’s heaviest integrated topsides installed by float-over method onto the gravity base structure offshore Sakhalin, Arkutun-Dagi field

  • The Arkutun-Dagi is being developed with use an ice-resistant fixed platform called Berkut. The platform is the largest offshore oil and gas production platform in Russia.

2015 – Production commenced on Berkut platform, Arkutun-Dagi field

  • First Arkutun-Dagi oil produced in January 2015

2016 – Point Thomson initial phase production start-up

2017 – Hebron project production start-up

Alaska

1965 – Granite Point field discovered

1966 – First ExxonMobil ice-resistant platform installed (Granite Point)

1967 – Granite Point production start-up

1968 – Prudhoe Bay field discovered

1969 – First oil tanker transit through the Canadian Northwest Passage

1972 – Offshore Technology Conference Award for contribution to marine history by SS Manhattan voyage

1975 – Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System started

1977 – Prudhoe Bay production start-up

1990 – Outstanding Achievement Award for civilian applications of NASA technology for heat pipe development

2016 – Point Thomson initial phase production start-up

Future Alaska gas development

We are advancing work at Point Thomson to develop its estimated eight trillion cubic feet of natural gas and its associated gas liquids. Over the next few years, ExxonMobil will continue to work toward delivering this reliable and secure source of energy to global markets.

Beaufort Sea

1973 – First artificial exploration island; World’s largest outdoor ice-test basin

1978 – First development of commercial ice island construction method; World’s largest ice-strength tests

1987 – Start-up of first offshore Beaufort Sea production system

1989 – World’s largest ice-spray exploration island

Future development in Beaufort Sea

From 2009-2015, Imperial collaborated with Arctic researchers to collect environmental baseline data in and around the exploration area. The company is committed to pursuing exploration activities in a technically sound, environmentally responsible, and economically efficient manner. Currently, Imperial is evaluating exploration technology alternatives and working with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada on exploration licence tenure.

Grand Banks

1981-1985 – Iceberg surveys in the Grand Banks

1984 – Pond Inlet Joint Industry Project on Baffin Island

1995 – Grappling Island iceberg impact tests

1997 – Hibernia start-up; First iceberg-resistant gravity-based structure (GBS)

2001 – Iceberg impact field program offshore Newfoundland and Labrador

2002 – Terra Nova production start-up; Installation of dis-connectable FPSO

2010 – Hibernia OPA2 drill well, Canada’s longest extended reach well at 11,000 kilometers

2011 – Hibernia Southern Extension first oil; First subsea tie-back project to a gravity-based structure

2012 –Construction of the Hebron project started

2017 – Hebron project production start-up

Future development

Hebron

The Hebron field, which consists of the Hebron, Ben Nevis and West Ben Nevis reservoirs, is located offshore Newfoundland and Labrador in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin, about 350 kilometers from St. John’s in 90 to 100 meters of water. In addition to the complexities faced by development of the nearby Hibernia field, the Hebron field also faces challenges associated with the recovery of heavy oil.

Hibernia Southern Extension

This subsea development will consist of four production wells drilled from the existing Hibernia gravity-based structure (GBS). We plan to drill five subsea water-injection wells with tiebacks to the GBS from an excavated drill centre on the seafloor, seven kilometers southeast of the GBS.

Norman Wells

1920 – Discovery of the world’s most northerly oil field at the time

1920 - 1930 – First commercial oil field and refinery in arctic conditions

1985 – First gravel production island

Barents Sea

1988 – Northern-most offshore well at the time drilled with mobile offshore drilling unit (Barents Sea)

1988-1994 – Ice Data Acquisition Program in the Barents Sea

Future development in Norwegian Barents Sea

We have explored on a regional scale along the Atlantic Margin and Barents Sea in preparation for future license rounds in both Norway and Greenland.

Sakhalin

1997 - Unique sea ice data collection offshore Sakhalin

2002 - World’s largest land-based drilling rig installed; Primorye tanker ice trials

2005 - Sakhalin-1 production start-up; Orlan offshore platform installed

2006 - World’s largest fixed-tower single point mooring (SPM) system installed

2010 - Odoptu field production start-up

2012 - World’s longest ERD well Z-44 completed

2013 – Joint Arctic Research Center with Rosneft

2014 - World’s longest extended reach drilling well completed

2014 - Arkutun-Dagi field production start-up

Future development at Sakhalin-1

The Arkutun-Dagi is being developed with an ice-resistant fixed platform called Berkut. The platform is the largest offshore oil and gas production platform in Russia.

Kara Sea

 

2013 – Conducted environmental research and impact studies

  • Conducted ice management program trials
  • Completed initial seismic acquisition survey

Future development in the Kara Sea

Exploration activities commenced in 2012 with the acquisition of a large 3D seismic survey and a regional 2D seismic survey. Drilling of the first exploration well will begin in 2014.

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