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NorthAmOil: Suncor, Cenovus restart West White Rose offshore project

Canadian producers Suncor Energy and Cenovus Energy have decided to restart development of the West White Rose project, an extension of the existing White Rose field. Work on West White Rose was suspended in March 2020 amid the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The project's fate was subsequently uncertain for some time, amid low oil prices and reduced appetite for development of major new projects. In addition, Cenovus' entry into the project came via its acquisition of Husky Energy and the company said it was weighing its options for the project, leading to concerns that it might never be revived. However, market conditions have changed considerably since the early days of the pandemic. West White Rose's prospects were already thought to be improving in September 2021, when the two companies agreed on a preliminary basis that Suncor's stake in the project would increase. This adjustment has now been finalised, with Suncor's interest in the White Rose asset raised from 27.5% to 40.0% and in the West White Rose project from 26.1% to 38.6%. Additionally, the two companies have amended their agreement with the province of Newfoundland and Labrador over how royalty payments from West White Rose would be structured. The amended royalty structure is aimed at safeguarding the project's economics in periods of low commodity prices. West White Rose is now due to enter production in the first half of 2026, with output anticipated to peak at roughly 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2029.