Husky has mobilized resources to the White Rose Field to carry out key integrity work at the South White Rose Extension, it was announced today.
The work includes recovering the flowline connector involved in last November’s spill and plugging the open ends of the flowline. The flowline itself is not damaged and will remain on location for future re-connection.
A news release states that equipment and personnel mobilized to the field March 13 and are spending today completing preparatory scopes prior to beginning the recovery process beginning at daybreak Friday.
“There is a risk of residual oil in the flowline being released during the process,” the release notes. “The recovery plan is designed to disturb the flowline as little as possible to reduce that risk. Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) will be monitoring throughout.”
If there is an oil release, the potential volume is expected to be in the tens of litres.
“However, we are prepared in the event of a larger release,” the statement says. “Spill response equipment is on site to ensure any residual oil is captured quickly.
“Our plan to carry out this work was approved by regulators in January. Since that time we have been awaiting a suitable weather window to carry out the work safely.”
Husky has been working with the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) and federal agencies including Canadian Coast Guard, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Canadian Wildlife Service to ensure appropriate oversight and mitigations are in place.
These plans also factor in considerations for the ice season. In addition, tabletop exercises conducted early in the New Year have been re-run with the team carrying out the work.
“We have had ongoing monitoring at the site since the spill and there have been no sheens observed at surface since Nov. 18,” the statement reads.
Last Nov. 16, 250,000-litres of oil spilled into the ocean after a flowline connector failed near the South White Rose Extension drill centre, about 350 kilometres east of St. John's. The SeaRose FPSO vessel was attempting to restart oil production after a shutdown due to a storm when the spill occurred.
It was the largest oil spill in the province's history.
The biggest hurdle in doing the repair work was finding at least 48 hours of appropriate weather conditions to ensure specific sea states and visibility.
That weather window appears to be developing for the next few days.
Once the flowline connector is recovered, an investigation will try to determine the root cause of its failure.
Since the incident, Inspections have also been completed on the SeaRose hull, topsides and mooring system. Husky also completed additional risk assessments, reviewed start up procedures, updated its adverse weather guidelines and completed a safety review.