Husky White Rose field production was shut down one week ago due to an oil release.  The company says the leak came from a subsea flowline connection in the field.  Husky photo.

Husky White Rose production shuttered after oil release last week

One week after Husky shut in production at the White Rose field after an oil release, the company says operations will remain suspended until a full inspection of all facilities is completed.

The Husky White Rose field was shut in on Thursday, Nov. 15 due to operational concerns over extreme weather.  The oil leak occurred at the company’s SeaRose floating production, storage and offloading vessel during restart procedures on Friday, Nov. 16.

The spill came after one of the worst storms to hit the region since the Ocean Ranger disaster in 1982, according to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.

Husky was preparing to resume production in the White Rose field – 72.5% owned and operated by Husky, 27.5% owned by PetroCanada – after shutting down earlier in the week for the severe weather, when the incident occurred.

Husky says all production wells are now secure.

On November 19, Husky deployed a remotely operated underwater vehicle, or a ROV, to survey the area.  The ROV discovered the oil release came from a subsea flowline connection in the White Rose field.

In a press release, the company said “Husky estimates 250 cubic metres (250,000 litres) of oil could have been released, an estimate based on the line’s maximum flow rate”.  Husky adds that since last week’s oil release, there has been no additional oil detected at the surface.

“Ongoing observation flights and sea vessel sweeps indicate the oil released Friday continues to disperse.”

Husky says along with the full inspection of its facilities, the company says an investigation into the spill is underway.  “Husky will cooperate fully with the C-NLOPB (Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board) and other regulatory authorities, to ensure government, other offshore operations, and the public are kept informed.”

Husky Energy along with the C-NLOPB and the Canadian Coast Guard are continuing to monitor the oil and its impact of wildlife.  A wildlife rehabilitation centre has been activated and so far, 14 oiled sea birds have been confirmed and three have been recovered and transported to the centre for treatment.

“The safety of personnel and the protection of the environment remain Husky’s number one priority,” says the Calgary-based company.

Production from the SeaRose was shut in on November 15, 2018 and was approximately 20,000 barrels of oil per day.

Production from the Searose was briefly suspended in January because the ship narrowly missed hitting an iceberg in March, 2017.

“[The SeaRose FPSO] should have disconnected and moved into safe space, away from the iceberg. They did not do that,” says Scott Tessier, the regulator’s chair and CEO, as reported by the CBC.

“We could have and should have responded differently according to the pre-existing plan, and have learned from this incident,” said Husky CEO Rob Peabody said in a January statement.