Husky Energy Deploys ROV to Find Source of White Rose Oil Spill

Husky Energy shut in oil production at the White Rose field Thursday, November 15, 2018 due to operational safety concerns resulting from severe weather.

A spill occurred on Friday, November 16. A shut-in subsea flowline is believed to be the source. Husky has deployed a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) to inspect the flowlines and confirm the source of the leak. Since the original spill, no additional oil has been detected at surface.

The White Rose Field is located approximately 350 km southeast from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Husky, the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) and Canadian Coast Guard authorities continue to monitor the oil and impact on wildlife. A wildlife rehabilitation center has been activated. Five oiled sea birds are confirmed. There have been no reports of workers getting hurt during last week’s storm, which was one of the worst the region has seen offshore since the Ocean Ranger disaster in 1982.

According to Husky Energy, operations remain suspended at the SeaRose floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel with all production wells secure. Observation flights and sea vessel sweeps conducted over the weekend (November 16-18) are tracking the original spill and indicate the oil is dispersing. C-NLOPB reports that there is no reason to believe based on the flight results that this is an ongoing spill, and it is believed to be a “batch spill”.

Production from the SeaRose was shut in on November 15, 2018 and remains shut in. Production was approximately 20,000 barrels of oil per day (Husky working interest, before royalties).

The C-NLOPB says their next steps will be to:

  • carefully review Husky Energy’s ongoing response, the company’s investigation report when ready and its Operations Authorization in light of this incident and the one last year involving the near miss of an iceberg with the SeaRose FPSO;
  • formally investigate the spill under its powers as per the Atlantic Accord Implementation Acts, in an effort to confirm the root cause;
  • release the findings of the C-NLOPB investigation to the public as soon as they are available;
  • take whatever enforcement action is deemed appropriate in this incident;
  • share the learnings from this incident with the industry and other regulators in Canada and worldwide, through the International Regulators Forum and the International Offshore Petroleum Environmental Regulators;
  • redouble our efforts with operators in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area with regard to spill prevention and response, and harsh weather protocols and procedures, with a view to further reducing risks to offshore workers, the environment and facilities; and
  • continue to otherwise use its regulatory oversight to drive improved industry performance in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area.

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