ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. (ExxonMobil) is proposing to conduct an exploration drilling project within offshore exploration licenses located in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin and the Flemish Pass Basin, approximately 250 kilometers east of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. The proposed Eastern Newfoundland Offshore Exploration Drilling Project would take place over a 12-year period, commencing in 2018 and would allow ExxonMobil to determine the presence, nature and quantities of the potential hydrocarbon resource.
ExxonMobil Eastern Newfoundland Offshore Exploration Drilling
RPS was contracted to provide support and modeling services. Analyses included portions of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a technical report focusing on trajectory and fate modelling of subsurface blowouts, surface releases, and mitigation/response effectiveness (surface aerial and subsurface dispersant applications), a metocean analysis of wind and currents, and a Risk Assessment (RA) to investigate the likelihood of releases.
A metocean analysis was conducted to investigate the differences between current (HYCOM) and wind (CFSR) models used in the oil spill trajectory and fate modeling and observational data to verify their validity. Results indicated that both datasets were sufficient to provide the spatial and temporal variability within the environment that would be observed.
A Risk Assessment was conducted (with Environmental Research Consulting, Inc.) to evaluate the spillage probabilities and volumes for identified scenarios. Additionally, oil inputs in the region were investigated in a benchmarking analysis. The modeled blowout scenarios were then compared to other significant blowouts with respect to the release rate, duration, and total volume. These results were summarized in the RA.
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