Husky Energy says it will begin taking steps to suspend operations of its SeaRose floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) and associated production facilities offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.
The move comes as the company complies with an order received Wednesday from the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB), related to an iceberg management incident that occurred in March 2017 when the FPSO vessel was housing 84 personnel and storing upwards of 340,000 barrels of oil, more than a third of its capacity. The berg ended up passing by with more than 180 metres between it and the SeaRose installations. There were no injuries and no damages to the facility or environment.
“We could have and should have responded differently according to the pre-existing plan, and we will learn from this incident. We will work with the C-NLOPB and take the actions necessary to satisfy the regulator,” Husky Energy CEO Rob Peabody said in a statement late Wednesday.
“The suspension of operations will take place in a safe, controlled and environmentally prudent manner, while maintaining the integrity of the installation,” the company said in its release. “Husky will undertake all steps necessary to comply with the directives of the C-NLOPB. A number of measures have already been put in place to further improve ice management operations.”
Husky re-iterated “the safety of personnel and the protection of the environment remains Husky’s number one priority.”
Current production from the SeaRose FPSO is approximately 27,000 barrels of oil per day (Husky working interest, before royalties).
Siobhan Coady, the province’s minister of natural resources, is hopeful the issue is resolved “in a timely manner,” but says the suspension is a matter between the regulator and the company, and that the province’s first priority is the health and safety of the employees.
As for the economic impact of a shutdown, Coady stated it “may result in short-term deferral of royalty revenue; however this revenue will be recovered in future as the oil is produced.”