Qatar Energy Farms Into Hampden License off Eastern Canada

Deal marks state-owned energy company’s entry into Canada’s offshore sector.

West Aquarius semisubmersible.
West Aquarius semisubmersible.

Qatar Energy has signed an agreement with ExxonMobil Canada to acquire a 40% ownership of exploration license 1165A off Canada’s east coast, marking the state-owned oil company’s first foray into offshore exploration in Canada. The Block EL 1165A is where operator ExxonMobil plans to drill the deepwater Hampden exploration well sometime in 2022.

In May 2020, Seadrill semisubmersible rig West Aquarius began drilling for ExxonMobil at the Hampden prospect, but operations were suspended after a week, without explanation. ExxonMobil is said to be nearing a deal for a rig to complete the exploration well.

Qatar is the world’s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, and is undertaking a strategy to boost production significantly over the next 5 years to meet the growing market for LNG.

ExxonMobil led the way in developing Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore, and operates both the Hibernia and Hebron oil fields. The oil major has been broadening its attention to the Flemish Pass Basin, a frontier area where other major discoveries have been made, including Equinor’s Bay du Nord find.