Thanks to the efforts of many, there have been no reports of workers getting hurt during last week’s storm, which was one of the worst this region has seen offshore since the Ocean Ranger disaster in 1982. The absence of injuries speaks to hard-earned advances in safety in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area.
However, 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. Those risks are only acceptable when all reasonable measures have been taken to reduce them.
Husky has confirmed that all wells are shut-in and secure. As well, production and drilling operations are shut-in and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Four surveillance flights and an offshore support vessel have been deployed since Friday to help assess the extent of the spill and look for any effects on wildlife. To date, no affected marine life or seabirds have been seen by government and industry observers in the vicinity of the spill and its trajectory. The C-NLOPB is particularly grateful to the Canadian Coast Guard and the National Environmental Emergencies Centre for their ongoing assistance and advice in the Board’s oversight of Husky Energy’s response to the spill.
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”.
Husky will deploy a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) to inspect subsea assets as soon as sea states have subsided to enable safe launching of the ROV. An updated estimate of the volume of the spill and other information should be available following the ROV deployment and subsea inspection.
As to next steps, the C-NLOPB will:
More broadly, late last week the C-NLOPB’s Chief Safety Officer advised all operators to take the time necessary to address known storm impacts while ensuring there were no surprises as operators consider getting ready to resume operations.
In the wake of the oil spill at the White Rose Field, the C-NLOPB CEO and senior staff have been in contact with other operators in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area. Operations at other facilities will not resume until the C-NLOPB has determined that it is safe to do so.
The C-NLOPB will provide further updates as they become available.
Husky Energy Communications
November 18, 2018 (4:00 pm, St. John’s time)
|December 10, 2018||Update – Status of Spill at White Rose Field|
|December 5, 2018||Update – Status of Other Offshore Facilities|
|December 3, 2018||Update – Spill at White Rose Field and Status of Other Offshore Facilities|
|November 29, 2018||High Potential Near Miss|
|November 23, 2018||Update – Spill at White Rose Field and Status of Other Offshore Facilities|
|November 22, 2018||Update – Spill at White Rose Field and Status of Other Offshore Facilities|
|November 21, 2018||Update – Spill at White Rose Field|
|November 20, 2018||Update – Spill at White Rose Field and Status of Other Offshore Facilities|
|November 18, 2018||Update – Spill in White Rose Field|
|November 16, 2018||Spill in White Rose Field|
|November 16, 2018||Smoke Detection|
|May 15, 2018||C-NLOPB Issues Notice of Non-Compliance to Suncor Energy and Commences Formal Investigation|
|May 3, 2018||Unauthorized Discharge of Synthetic Based Mud – Update|
|April 30, 2018||Unauthorized Discharge of Synthetic Based Mud|