ExxonMobil has awarded the first of five contracts to close down its 16-year-old Sable Offshore Energy Project, off the coast of Nova Scotia.

Julie Hebert, president of Dartmouth-based offshore engineering services firm AMEC Black & McDonald (ABM), told the Chronicle Herald ExxonMobil awarded the work to ABM this month, choosing it over Wood Group PSN and Aker Solutions. Hebert declined to say how much the work was worth. ABM has supplied the project for the past 12 years, she said, and the decommissioning work would be rolled into an existing operations contract.

According to a company spokesman, ExxonMobil has short-listed four other decommissioning contracts for the project’s 21 wells.

The company would not confirm a start date for the decommissioning but its website says that will be determined by a number of factors.

“A start date for decommissioning depends on gas prices, production performance, efficiency gains and advances in technology. Studies, taking all of these factors into consideration, are underway. The information we are gathering now will enable us to bring forward a timetable for decommissioning,” the website said.

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