Energy firms Equinor and BP announced in late May they are halting for three years development of the estimated $9.4-billion Bay du Nord floating oil drilling project off the Newfoundland coast. The companies cite “changing market conditions and subsequent high cost inflation,” adding the action will allow them to “further improve overall project competitiveness.” 

A front-end engineering contract of undisclosed value awarded in April to a KBR unit and Canada-based Hatch Ltd., “is part of the assessment related to … project postponement,” said an Equinor spokesperson. The firms did not comment further on whether FEED work had been underway or what work had been done. 

Equinor was set to make a final investment decision in late 2024 on the project, with the first oil to be produced in the late 2020s, KBR said. 

Bay Du Nord, set to be located in international waters 500 km northeast of St. John’s, would extract 200,000 barrels per day at depths of 650 m to 1,170 m. 

A Sierra Club spokesman said opponents will still seek legal review of federal project approval that was given in 2022.