Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – Newfoundland and Labrador
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Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production
Source and Description:
This graph shows hydrocarbon production in Newfoundland and Labrador from 2010 to 2020. Over this period, crude oil production has increased from 266 Mb/d to 283 Mb/d.
Figure 2: Electricity Production (2019)
Source and Description:
This pie chart shows electricity generation by source in Newfoundland and Labrador. A total of 42.7 TW.h of electricity was generated in 2019.
Figure 3: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map
Source and Description:
This map shows all refineries and offshore crude oil platforms in Newfoundland and Labrador, and crude oil infrastructure in Atlantic Canada.
PDF version [1 156 KB]
Figure 4: End-Use Demand by Sector (2019)
Source and Description:
This pie chart shows end-use energy demand in Newfoundland and Labrador by sector. Total end-use energy demand was 179 PJ in 2018. The largest sector was industrial at 42% of total demand, followed by transportation (at 35%), residential (at 15%), and lastly, commercial (at 8%).
Figure 5: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2019)
Source and Description:
This figure shows end-use demand by fuel type in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2018. Refined petroleum products accounted for 104 PJ (58%) of demand, followed by electricity at 38 PJ (21%), natural gas at 24 PJ (13%), biofuels at 11 PJ (6%), and other at 3 PJ (2%).
Note: "Other" includes coal, coke, and coke oven gas.
Figure 6: GHG Emissions by Sector
Source and Description:
This stacked column graph shows GHG emissions in Newfoundland and Labrador by sector every five years from 1990 to 2019 in MT of CO2e. Total GHG emissions have increased in Newfoundland and Labrador from 9.5 MT of CO2e in 1990 to 11.1 MT of CO2e in 2019.
Figure 7: Emissions Intensity of Electricity Generation
Source and Description:
This column graph shows the emissions intensity of electricity generation in Newfoundland and Labrador from 1990 to 2019. In 1990, electricity generated in Newfoundland and Labrador emitted 45 g of CO2e per kWh. By 2019, emissions intensity decreased to 27 g of CO2e per kWh.
- In 2020, Newfoundland and Labrador’s oil production was 282.7 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d), or 5% of Canada’s overall production and 24% of Canada’s light oil production. (Figure 1).
- Newfoundland and Labrador is the largest producer of crude oil in eastern Canada, and is the third largest oil producing province in Canada, after Alberta and Saskatchewan.
- Production occurs from four offshore developments: Hibernia, Terra Nova, White Rose and the White Rose Expansion Projects, and Hebron. All four developments are in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin.
- Production at the ExxonMobil-operated Hibernia oil platform was 99.2 Mb/d in 2021, a 16% decrease from 2020. Hibernia is a joint venture between ExxonMobil Canada (33.125% ownership), Chevron Canada Resources (26.875%), Suncor Energy (20%), Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation (8.5%), Murphy Oil (6.5%), and Equinor Canada Ltd. (5%). In addition, the Hibernia Southern Extension (HSE), a subsea development with connections to the Hibernia platform, is owned and operated by the same group of companies as well as and a provincial Crown corporation, the Oil and Gas Corporation of Newfoundland and LabradorFootnote 1 (OilCo) which currently manages an 8.7% participating interest in HSE.
- Production at the Hebron oil platform averaged 138.6 Mb/d in 2021, a 2% decrease from 2020. The Hebron oil platform first produced oil in November 2017. Hebron produces heavy oil and is a joint venture among ExxonMobil Canada (35.5%), Chevron Canada Resources (29.6%), Suncor Energy (21%), Equinor Canada Ltd. (9%), and OilCo (4.9%).
- In 2021, the White Rose and North Amethyst fields produced an average 20 Mb/d to the SeaRose FPSO (floating production, storage, and offloading) vessel, a 21% decrease from 2020. These fields are owned by Cenovus, Suncor, and OilCo.
- The West White Rose project was intended to obtain 200 million barrels of light crude oil and extend the life of the White Rose oil field by 14 years. Construction was halted in March 2020 in response to COVID-19 safety concerns. Cenovus Energy will decide whether to restart the West White Rose development by mid-2022.
- Suncor Energy operates the Terra Nova field, approximately 350 kilometers (km) southeast of Newfoundland. Terra Nova has not produced oil since December 2019. In 2021, Suncor Energy and other Terra Nova owners finalized the Asset Life Extension Project to extend production to 2031. Production is expected to resume before the end of 2022, reaching 29 Mb/d. The project is expected to allow for the recovery of an additional 70 million barrels of oil. After recent restructuring, Terra Nova is owned by Suncor Energy, Cenovus Energy, and Murphy Oil.
- Six oil discoveries have been made in the Flemish Pass Basin, offshore of Newfoundland and Labrador in recent years. The discoveries are Bay du Nord/Bay de Verde, Mizzen, Baccalieu, and Harpoon. In 2020, Equinor made two new oil discoveries–Cappahayden and Cambriol–which are currently being evaluated for their full resource potential.
- Equinor is proposing to develop the Bay du Nord Field in the Flemish Pass Basin, approximately 450 km east-northeast of St. John’s. The core Bay du Nord Field consists of Bay du Nord, Bay de Verde, Bay de Verde East, and the Baccalieu discoveries. The discoveries are collectively estimated to hold 452 million barrels of recoverable oil with water depth ranging from 1 000 to 1 200 metres. Bay du Nord would mark the province’s first offshore development outside of the Jeanne d’Arc Basin and the first project in the world beyond the 200 nautical mile limit, which is subject to United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
- Equinor Canada Ltd. is currently waiting on the approval of the Environmental Assessment filed with the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) before they can proceed with their development plans for Bay du Nord and surrounding satellite fields with an estimated 10 and 30 well program, respectively.
- Environmental Assessments filed with the IAAC suggest the following potential future drilling activity for offshore Newfoundland and Labrador:
- Jeanne d’Arc Basin: Husky’s Exploration Drilling Project is proposing up to 10 wells may be drilled between 2019 and 2027 and Suncor Energy’s Tilt Cove Drilling Project is proposing up to 12 wells may be drilled between 2019 and 2028.
- Orphan Basin: BP Canada Energy Group, with their Newfoundland Orphan Basin Exploration Drilling Program, is proposing up to 20 wells may be drilled between 2020 and 2026. BHP Canada Exploration Drilling Project & Seabed Survey is also proposing to drill up to 20 wells between 2020 and 2025.
- Equinor Canada Ltd.’s Central Ridge Exploration Drilling Project proposes an exploration drilling program of up to six wells between 2020 and 2029.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s remaining resource base for crude oil is estimated to be 2.26 billion barrels as of 2021.
- The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) is the independent regulatory agency created in 1986 under the Atlantic Accord Implementation Acts with a mandate that includes offshore safety, environmental protection, resource management and industrial benefits.
Refined Petroleum Products (RPPs)
- The North Atlantic Refinery in Come by Chance is the only refinery in the province. The refinery has been idle since March 2020 due to a rapid decline in demand for petroleum products caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. When operational, it had a capacity of 130 Mb/d.
- In late 2021, American private equity firm Cresta Fund Management bought a controlling share in the facility, with plans to convert the refinery to produce renewable fuels. The facility, which has been renamed Braya Renewable Fuels, is expected to produce 14 Mb/d of renewable fuel by mid-2022. The refinery will use corn oil, animal fats, and used cooking oil as feedstock.
- Prior to the idling of the North Atlantic Refinery, Newfoundland and Labrador had a net surplus of RPPs and exported a significant amount of its production to the United States (U.S.) East Coast market.
Natural Gas/Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)
- In 2021, 433 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas was produced at offshore Newfoundland crude oil facilities. It was used for power at the offshore facilities, reinjected into the ground to maintain reservoir pressure or increase oil, and a small amount was flared.
- A small amount of NGLs are included with oil production, but there is no commercial production of NGLs in Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s sales-quality natural gas resource is estimated by C-NLOPB at 12.6 trillion cubic feet. The province is developing a natural gas framework to encourage natural gas development.
- In 2019, Newfoundland and Labrador generated 40.8 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity (Figure 2), which is approximately 7% of total Canadian generation. Newfoundland and Labrador is the fifthlargest producer of electricity in Canada and has an estimated generating capacity of 7 822 megawatts (MW).
- Newfoundland and Labrador generates almost 96% of its electricity from hydro sources. This includes the 5 428 MW Churchill Falls generating station, which is one of the largest power plants in Canada. Nalcor owns 65.8% of the project and Hydro-Québec owns the remaining 34.2%. Most of the energy from Churchill Falls is sold to Hydro-Québec under a long-term contract that expires in 2041.
- Nalcor’s Lower Churchill project involves construction of two hydro generation facilities: Muskrat Falls and Gull Island. Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro has set a new target of March 2022 for completing Muskrat Falls. Power from the first of four units flowed in 2020. The Muskrat Falls project is estimated to cost about $13 billion. The Gull Island project, still in the proposal stage, is a 2 250 MW generation facility and has not yet been sanctioned for construction.
- After hydroelectricity, oil is the largest contributor to Newfoundland and Labrador’s power generation capacity. Although oil accounts for 9% of the province’s generation capacity, it only made up 3.4% of the generation mix in 2019. Natural gas and wind power also contribute a small proportion to the generation mix.
- The 490 MW oil-fired Holyrood Thermal Generating Station currently generates between 15% and 25% of the island of Newfoundland’s electricity needs annually. Holyrood was once scheduled for shutdown in 2021 after the completion of Muskrat Falls but delays to the project have extended Holyrood’s operating life.
- Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is responsible for most power generation. There are also independent power producers of hydroelectricity, cogeneration, wind, and biogas.
Energy Transportation and Trade
Crude Oil and Liquids
- There are no crude oil pipelines or crude-by-rail facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador. All offshore crude oil production is transported to refineries by ship.
- Crude production is transported from the oil fields by shuttle tankers to the Newfoundland Transshipment Limited’s 3.3 million barrel capacity terminal located in Whiffen Head. The terminal received its first production from the Hibernia field in October 1998, from the Terra Nova field in February 2002, from the White Rose field in June 2007, and from the Hebron field in November 2017. Crude is then loaded onto ships destined for domestic and export markets (Figure 3).
- There are no natural gas pipelines in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
- The LNG Newfoundland and Labrador export project is in the early proposal stages. The project would involve building a central gas hub near the four oil-producing fields in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin and a 600 km subsea pipeline to Grassy Point in Placentia Bay. The company has registered the project in the Environmental Assessment process and is proceeding with an Environmental Impact Statement.
- Newfoundland and Labrador is a significant net exporter of electricity. In 2019, net interprovincial and international electricity outflows accounted for 31.1 TWh, or about 75% of generation.
- Newfoundland Power, a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., is the primary distributor of electricity, serving more than 87% of customers in the province. Newfoundland Power operates 12 850 km of transmission and distribution lines on the island portion of the province.
- Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro distributes power to the remaining 38 000 rural customers, across more than 6 400 km of transmission and distribution lines.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s transmission system, until recently, consisted of two large networks: the Island Interconnected System, which was isolated from the rest of North America, and the Labrador Interconnected System, which receives hydro power from the Churchill Falls station and connects to Quebec’s infrastructure.
- The island of Newfoundland is now connected to the North American power grid through the construction of the Labrador-Island Link and the Maritime Link.
- Construction on the Labrador-Island Link was completed in late 2017. Once it is placed in service in 2022 it will deliver electricity 1 100 km from Muskrat Falls in Labrador to the island.
- The Maritime Link was also completed in late 2017 and placed in service in January 2018. The subsea cables connect the island of Newfoundland with Nova Scotia and allow access to the North American bulk electric system. The Maritime Link also allows Nova Scotia to receive 20% of the power originating from Muskrat Falls through a fixed rate 35-year agreement. First power from Muskrat Falls to Nova Scotia began in August 2021.
- There are also isolated systems serving 20 communities along the coast of the province. These isolated systems are primarily supported by diesel generation.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities is the regulator of both Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and Newfoundland Power.
Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
Total Energy Consumption
- End-use demand in Newfoundland and Labrador was 180.6 petajoules (PJ) in 2019. The largest sector for energy demand was industrial at 43% of total demand, followed by transportation at 34%, residential at 15%, and commercial at 8% (Figure 4). Newfoundland and Labrador’s total energy demand was the ninth largest in Canada, and the fourth largest on a per capita basis.
- Refined petroleum products were the largest fuel type consumed in Newfoundland and Labrador, accounting for 105 PJ, or 58% of total end-use demand. Electricity and natural gas accounted for 38 PJ (21%) and 23 PJ (13%), respectively (Figure 5).
Refined Petroleum Products
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s motor gasoline demand in 2019 was 1 728 litres per capita, 36% above the national average of 1 268 litres per capita.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s diesel demand in 2019 was 1 199 litres per capita, 40% above the national average of 855 litres per capita.
- Gasoline in Newfoundland and Labrador is primarily refined within the province at the North Atlantic Refinery. RPPs consumed in Newfoundland and Labrador are also supplied by the Irving Oil Refinery in New Brunswick, refineries in Quebec, and international imports.
- RPP prices have been regulated by the Newfoundland and Labrador Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities since 2004. The Board sets maximum retail prices for heating oil, gasoline, and diesel using spot market pricing and adding wholesale and retail margins, transportation costs, and taxes. Prices are revised every week or as required to adjust for market conditions.
- None of the natural gas produced at offshore oil facilities is sold. The natural gas is used to power the offshore crude oil facilities, reinjected into the ground to maintain reservoir pressure, or flared.
- In 2019, annual electricity consumption per capita in Newfoundland and Labrador was 20 megawatt-hours (MWh). Newfoundland and Labrador ranked third in Canada for per capita electricity consumption and consumed 34% more than the national average.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest consuming sector for electricity in 2019 was residential at 4.3 TWh. The industrial and commercial sectors consumed 3.7 TWh and 2.5 TWh, respectively.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s GHG emissions in 2019 were 11.1 megatonnes (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).Footnote 2 Newfoundland and Labrador’s emissions have increased 16% since 1990 and 5% since 2005.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s emissions per capita are 21.2 tonnes CO2e per capita–9% above the Canadian average of 19.4 tonnes per capita.
- The largest emitting sectors in Newfoundland and Labrador are transportation at 38% of emissions, oil and gas production at 26%, and electricity generation at 10% (Figure 6).
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector in 2019 were 2.8 MT CO2e. Of this total, 1.8 MT were attributable to offshore oil production and 1.0 MT were attributable to petroleum refining.
- In 2019, Newfoundland and Labrador’s power sector emitted 1.1 MT CO2e emissions, which represents about 2% of Canada’s GHG emissions from power generation.
- The greenhouse gas intensity of Newfoundland and Labrador’s electricity grid, measured as the GHGs emitted in the generation of the province’s electric power, was 27 grams of CO2e per kilowatt-hour (g of CO2e per kWh) electricity generated in 2019. This is a 35% increase from the province’s 2005 level of 20 g of CO2e per kWh. The national average in 2019 was 120 g of CO2e per kWh (Figure 7).
- Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board
- Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Natural Resources
- Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Finance: Oil Economic Bulletin
- Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities: Current Regulated Fuel Prices
- Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro: System Information
- Newfoundland and Labrador Open Data: Energy
- CER–Canada's Renewable Power: Newfoundland and Labrador
- CER–Market Snapshot: Canadian exports of crude oil to destinations other than the United States are mainly from Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore
- CER–Market Snapshot: Offshore Newfoundland and Labrador heavy oil production helps increase total crude production to levels last seen in 2009
- CER–Market Snapshot: Atlantic offshore oil production and the Law of the Sea
- CER–Market Snapshot: Household expenditures on energy are highest in Atlantic Canada
- CER–Market Snapshot: How much crude oil does Canada export by marine vessel and where does it go?
- CER–Market Snapshot: Newfoundland joins the interconnected North American electricity grid
- CER–Market Snapshot: 25 years of Atlantic Canada offshore oil & natural gas production
- CER–Market Snapshot: Understanding the Regulation of Gasoline Prices in Atlantic Canada
Provincial & Territorial Energy Profiles aligns with the CER’s latest Canada’s Energy Future 2021 datasets. Energy Futures uses a variety of data sources, generally starting with Statistics Canada data as the foundation, and making adjustments to ensure consistency across all provinces and territories.
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