Building the Capacity of Our Industry and Our People
Offshore industry expenditures since the earliest activity in the 1960s have exceeded $60 billion, spurring major economic growth in Newfoundland and Labrador – creating thousand of jobs and contributing billions of dollars to governments via royalties and taxes. The offshore has played a central role in growing core competencies in the supply and service sector, contributing to the continued diversification of NL’s economy.
PRNL continues to explore ways of enabling the safe and sustainable development of our offshore resources, delivering significant ongoing benefits for our province and the country. Development challenges in NL’s offshore include the harsh marine environment, sea ice and icebergs, frequent fog and other weather issues, and the need to travel long distances to offshore installations. We facilitate research and development to meet these challenges, enhancing safety and environmental performance, reducing uncertainty and improving competitiveness, while building local capacity.
PRNL supports safe operations by collaborating with research, education and training institutions and private sector innovators to ensure our workforce and systems meet the challenges of our harsh marine environment. PRNL has managed almost 40 health and safety projects over the past 20 years to improve the performance of survival suits and flight suits, develop better evacuation systems, understand and improve human performance in emergency response situations, and develop new training techniques and technologies to improve that performance. Memorial University and its Marine Institute, the National Research Council, Virtual Marine, are all internationally-recognized as leaders in harsh environment safety R&D, education and training, and frequent PRNL partners.
PRNL began working with Kraken Robotic Systems Inc. from its earliest inception to advance its next generation sensors and autonomous underwater platforms for ultra-high definition seabed imaging and mapping. Kraken is now partnering with PRNL, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, Emera, and the Nunavut Fisheries Association on its OceanVision™ program to continue growing its underwater robotics data acquisition and data analytics as a service business. Better imaging and environmental characterization at lower costs supports development and safe operations.
Newfoundland and Labrador has numerous proven offshore marginal fields which are smaller pools of hydrocarbons in the vicinity of existing installations. Accessing these resources requires innovative subsea solutions to enable cost effective tiebacks to existing host installations. Project viability is challenged due to added costs associated with hydrate management, asset protection from icebergs, and challenging seabed geotechnical conditions. Utilizing a basin‐wide approach, PRNL developed a technical roadmap to increase execution and operational efficiency while maintaining commitments to safety and environmental protection. Initial projects have been completed and/or are ongoing with partners TechnipFMC, Scanmudring Canada Ltd., C-CORE and M.A. Procense Inc.