Neil King, control room operator for Hebron, is from Perry’s Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador. He had been working as an offshore operator for about four years when the position was transitioned onshore. “I can close valves, send an operator out to check on equipment, make platform announcements and shut down the facility if need be. I am truly an integrated member of the offshore team interacting and working with them for my 12-hour shift. The only difference is I am also able to go home after my shift and be with my family,” says King. “People who, for family reasons, can’t work offshore can now see a path to working in the operations side of the business.”
A Digital Opportunity
“Having the vision and the determination to invest in the infrastructure is why we have so much opportunity in the digital space today,” says Laz Cosma, president of ExxonMobil Canada (EMC), operator of the Hebron project. “We see digital innovation as a game changer making our operations safer and more efficient. The potential exists for the NL oil and gas industry to become a global leader in terms of digital technology, automation and remote operations.”
The new ExxonMobil building on Hebron Way in St. John’s, NL, is now being referred to as an onshore support and control centre, using digital and advanced technology to support all aspects of its offshore operations. The digital capability in the new building includes the onshore control room for Hebron, as well as a logistics control room, drilling support centres and engineering support rooms. All of these offshore operations have specialized facilities and direct access to the offshore – drilling, logistics and production operations.
Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd., as operator of the Hibernia project, joined ExxonMobil in the new building and the Hibernia platform is also connected by fibre optic cable.