Husky Energy has confirmed operations are still suspended at its SeaRose floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility offshore Newfoundland following bad weather and an oil spill last week.
Production at the White Rose field, in which 20,000 barrel-per-day SeaRose operates, was shut down on 15 November with the company citing safety concerns due to bad weather. The following day a spill occurred, which an ROV inspection traced to a subsea flowline.
Four surveillance flights and an OSV have been deployed since Friday to monitor the situation, according to the Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB). No further spills have been detected and the original spill is believed to be dispersing.
Husky is working with the CNLOPB and the Canadian Coast Guard to monitor the spill and its impact on wildlife. A wildlife rehabilitation centre has been activated and so far five oiled seabirds have been confirmed.
CNLOPB said in a statement it will review Husky’s ongoing response, its investigation report and its operations authorisation following this incident and a near miss of an iceberg with SeaRose last year. A formal investigation of the spill will be undertaken by CNLOPB under its own powers, following which any enforcement action deemed appropriate will be taken and the findings of the investigation will be shared with the general public, industry, and other regulatory bodies.
The storm was described by CNLOPB as “one of the worst [the] region has seen offshore since the Ocean Ranger disaster in 1982,” however it noted that there were no reported injuries as a result of the bad weather.
“The spill of crude oil in the White Rose Field as Husky Energy prepared to resume production showed that the risks in offshore oil activity can never be underestimated, especially in our harsh environment,” it added.