Production was shut in at the White Rose field Thursday, November 15 due to operational safety concerns resulting from severe weather. Once conditions had returned to normal operating parameters on Friday, November 16, and safety checks were completed, the process of resuming operations commenced. A release occurred as we were in the process of resuming operations.

A remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) survey confirmed the release came from a subsea flowline connection.

An investigation into the cause is underway. We are cooperating fully with the C-NLOPB and other regulatory authorities, to ensure government, other offshore operations and the public are kept informed.

Our focus remains the safety of our people and the environment.

  • In January 2019, production resumed from one of five drill centres at the field. We worked with our certifying authority to satisfy ourselves the SeaRose and associated equipment was ready to safely operate the Central Drill Centre.
     
  • On March 15, 2019 key integrity work began at the South White Rose Extension when on-scene commanders confirmed all pre-requisites were met and that it was safe to proceed. The work includes recovering the flowline connector and plugging both open ends of the flowline.
     
  • In May 2019 work to test field integrity and resume production at additional White Rose Drill Centres continued.
     
  • On June 5, 2019 production resumed at the Southern Drill Centre. We worked with our certifying authority to satisfy ourselves the SeaRose and associated equipment was ready to safely operate the Southern Drill Centre.
     
  • In July 2019 a replacement for the failed flowline connector, which has a higher load capacity, was installed.
  • On August 16, 2019 the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board approved Husky's restart plan for the North Amethyst and South White Rose Extension drill centres. Husky conducted an extensive investigation, flow line repairs and integrity testing, and will begin an orderly restart, expecting to reach full rates during the week of August 19. See the full news release here.

 

July 26, 2019

We have completed the installation of a replacement flowline connector, which has a higher load capacity, near the South White Rose Extension Drill Centre.

Using remote operated vehicles and the crane of the Skandi Vinland, the flowline ends were lifted into a specially-designed installation skid, the new flowline connector was installed and leak testing to verify system integrity was conducted. The flowline was then placed back on the seafloor and tested again. 

The operation was carefully planned and executed, with oversight and input from regulatory and certifying agencies.

Approximately 26 litres of residual hydrocarbon in the flowline was released during the installation, consistent with expected volumes. The Atlantic Hawk was on scene with spill response equipment to provide support if required, however no sheen was spotted at surface.

Clamps are being applied to all similar production flowline connectors in the South White Rose Extension and North Amethyst drill centres to further increase the tension limits required for separation, after the clamp was tested on a water injection flowline.

We are finalizing the clamp installation and will be sharing further technical reports with the regulator, as well as outlining planned mitigations for the safe operation of the South White Rose Extension and North Amethyst drill centres. These include adapting our operating procedures and monitoring plans, and incorporating flow assurance work being carried out by a third-party contractor. We have also implemented more conservative operating limits during start-up conditions.

Production will only resume when the regulator, certifying authorities and Husky are satisfied conditions are in place to ensure integrity and the safe operation of the flowline.

July 5, 2019

We have been methodically resuming operations at the White Rose field and have now received regulatory approval to install a replacement for the failed flowline connector at the South White Rose Extension drill centre.

Between July 5 and 7 we expect to start work to prepare the site, including the pre-deployment of tools and equipment. This will be followed by the installation of the new flowline connector, which has a higher load capacity. All the work is weather dependent and is expected to take about two weeks to complete.

The flowline ends were plugged in March and it is filled with seawater. When the flowline connector is replaced, it is possible residual oil trapped when the plugs were installed could be released to surface.

While the risk of releasing residual oil is low, additional mitigations will be in place to quickly manage any release, including:

  • ROV monitoring of subsea activities
  • Second vessel with of oil spill response equipment at site
  • Activities with potential for oil release will be conducted during daylight hours

When the flowline connector is installed, we will work with the C-NLOPB and certifying authority to determine a testing program to verify system integrity. Production will only resume when the regulator, and certifying authorities, along with Husky, are satisfied conditions are in place to ensure the integrity and safe operation of the flowline.

We have submitted an interim investigation report to the C-NLOPB, which identifies a number of contributing factors to the incident. Some of these were included in the preliminary report in December.

Our investigation is ongoing, however we are implementing what we've learned and most will be in place before production resumes from the South White Rose Extension and North Amethyst drill centres. Training will occur in the short and longer term.

Technical work continues into what caused the flowline connector to separate. Indications point to the development of hydrates, which are crystalline structures formed when natural gas and water combine at low temperatures and high pressure. Growth of these structures can form ice-like solids. We will mitigate this by adapting our operating procedures and monitoring plans, incorporating flow assurance work being carried out by a third-party contractor. We have also implemented more conservative operating limits during start-up conditions.

We are working to finalize our evaluation of the other potential causal factors such as flowline tension and bending movements.

June 5, 2019

Production has resumed from the Southern Drill Centre, following the startup plan accepted by the CNLOP-B and after a series of risk assessments and due diligence activities were performed. The flowlines at the South White Rose Extension, Southern and North Amethyst Drills Centres have been flushed with water and the oil, gas and water in the lines displaced to the SeaRose FPSO.

The South White Rose Extension and North Amethyst Drill Centres have been isolated. Before production resumed at the Southern Drill Centre, with oversight by the regulator and certifying authority, we successfully conducted leak testing. This process is similar to the one carried out in January before production resumed at the Central Drill Centre.

May 24, 2019

We continue the process of testing field integrity and resuming production at additional White Rose Drill Centres.

The next phase of this work will involve displacing the remaining flowlines with water, starting with the South White Rose Extension (SWRX), where our planned program has been accepted by the regulator.

This allows for future reconnection of the SWRX flowline, which was plugged at both ends after the flowline connector was recovered in March.

A hose will be connected to the plugs using remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) and water from tanks onboard the Skandi Vinland will be used to flush the flowline. This will be done at a low flow rate, using three times the amount of fluid currently in the flowline sections, to ensure adequate displacement. Displaced fluids will be routed back to the SeaRose FPSO for separation.

While the risk of a spill during this process is low, we are prepared to respond. Agreed mitigation includes ROVs in the water to observe the operation, aerial surveillance on standby and a support vessel in the field carrying spill response equipment. The work will begin during daylight hours.

Once flowlines from the remaining drill centres are displaced with water, the Southern Drill Centre and its flowlines will be leak tested, similar to the process used for the Central Drill Centre. Pending a successful test and relevant approvals, we would resume production from the Southern Drill Centre.

Mar. 19, 2019

We have completed our activities at the South White Rose Extension. The flowline connector components were brought to the surface in a basket, using the crane on the Skandi Vinland. The components will be brought onshore for further investigation and analysis, assisting in investigations by Husky and the regulator to determine the root cause of the November 2018 oil spill.

Over five days the bolts and flanges around the damaged flowline connector were disconnected, the connector removed and the open ends of the flowline plugged. This work was carried out in 120 metres of water, approximately 350 kilometres from shore, with support from Husky's onshore and offshore teams and contractors. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board and federal agencies, including the Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Wildlife Service and Environment and Climate Change Canada, provided oversight of the operation onshore and offshore. They also provided input into the plan and related spill mitigations, which were the result of months of planning and preparation.

The total volume of oil released is in the range of 50 litres, which is consistent with our expectations. Light oil sheens were observed and managed quickly by response teams at surface.

In future, we will circulate the fluids from this and other flowlines back to the SeaRose production vessel, displacing the flowlines with water to further reduce environmental risk.

Mar. 18, 2019

Work continued Monday, March 18 on recovering the flowline connector at the South White Rose Extension.

The remaining bolts and clamps on the second half of the flowline connector were removed, and then the connector was removed. That end of flowline was plugged, so both open ends of the flowline have now been mechanically sealed off. The other half of the flowline was plugged on Saturday.

There were a couple of small releases of oil during the March 18 operations. The total volume is estimated at less than one litre.

We expect to complete the recovery of the flowline connector pieces on Tuesday, March 19 and return them to surface for further investigation and analysis.

Mar. 17, 2019

Work concluded Saturday, March 16 with one end of the flowline connector disconnected, and one of four bolts at the other end removed. Weather conditions offshore were not suitable for aerial surveillance Sunday, March 17. Subsea recovery operations will resume Monday, March 18.

When we removed the first end of the flowline connector, approximately 47.5 litres of residual oil were released from the flowline, which was consistent with expectations and spill response plans. The release was observed at surface as five light sheens ranging in size from 5 metres wide to between 50 and 100 metres in length. The sheens were dispersed using approved methods.

Aerial surveillance March 16 confirmed there were no sheens observed outside the response area. No seabirds were observed on the surface of the water.

The open end of the flowline was plugged and secured. Monitoring of the location continues.

ROV and spill response vessels remain in the field.

Mar. 16, 2019

The operation to recover the flowline connector resumed around 7:00 a.m. once safety and wildlife checks were completed and on-scene aerial surveillance was confirmed.

ROV crews continued to disconnect bolts from the flowline connector. One end of the flowline connector has been removed and a plug inserted into the end of the flowline.

As projected, we did have releases of residual oil from the flowline. These were managed based on our approved protocols. The volumes are estimated at 47.5 litres.

No seabirds were seen on the surface of the water at the time.

The operation will resume Monday morning due to weather limitations on aerial surveillance. Monitoring continues at the site.

Mar. 15, 2019

The operation to recover the flowline connector began shortly after 7a.m. once the on-scene commander confirmed that all pre-conditions were met and it was safe to proceed. The pre-conditions included: pre-deployment of spill response equipment, on scene aerial surveillance and regular wildlife observations.

The focus has been on disconnecting bolts from the flowline connector. Once disconnected from the flowline, the component will be placed in a recovery basket for retrieval to surface and plugs will be inserted into the ends of flowline. The connector will be sent for forensic analysis.

As projected, we did see some oil surface once we started working on the component. This was managed by our spill response vessel, the Maersk Detector using agreed operational protocols. Total volumes are estimated at less than one litre.

Absorbent material has been placed over the flowline connector to further reduce the risk of oil being released to surface.

The March 14 pre-project wildlife survey identified four seabirds in a 54 kilometre area. A few were sighted in the area on March 15. None were oiled. Dedicated wildlife observers are conducting hourly observations from both the Skandi Vinland and the Maersk Detector.

See photos and maps here.

Mar. 14, 2019

Husky has mobilized resources to the White Rose Field to carry out key integrity work at the South White Rose Extension.  This 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.

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 tomorrow. 

There is a risk of residual oil in the flowline being released during the process. 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.

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.  We have been working with the 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. 

We have revisited these plans in recent weeks to factor in considerations for 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; there have been no sheens observed at surface since November 18.

Flowline Steps

Jan. 30, 2019

Husky is preparing to move ahead with remediation and production restart activities at the White Rose Field, offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

Our plan to recover the flowline connector and plug the flowline at the South White Rose Extension (SWRX) has been accepted by the C-NLOPB and other federal agencies who were engaged by the C-NLOPB for their expertise. The C-NLOPB has now issued an Operational Authorization for us to carry out this activity. This work is a priority for Husky and the regulator, and is important to restoring integrity to the SWRX flowline area and reducing the potential for environmental impact. We intend to carry out these activities at the earliest opportunity.

We have worked closely with the C-NLOPB and regulatory agencies, including Canadian Coast Guard, Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service, to complete detailed planning and are confident the necessary equipment, expertise and mitigations are in place to safely carry out the work in an environmentally responsible manner. These include design, fabrication and testing of plugs to mechanically seal the ends of the flowline, development of a recovery process and procedure, risk assessments, tabletop exercises and development of a wildlife response plan. A project-specific spill response plan has been designed to ensure that we can manage any potential volume of residual oil.

The plan incorporates mitigations including:

  • Pre-deployment of spill response equipment
  • On-site representation and direction from spill response contractor Eastern Canada Response Corporation
  • Aerial surveillance
  • Restricting work with potential environmental impact to daylight hours
  • Wildlife observation plan includes "hold" points in the event of marine mammals or large numbers of seabirds in immediate area
  • Dedicated wildlife observers on two vessels

In addition, all Husky-contracted vessels supporting the response are equipped with Rutter's Sigma 6 spill detector radar.

The recovery and plugging operation is weather sensitive and will require a 48-hour window with specific requirements around sea states and visibility. We don't have an immediate weather window for this work and these conditions may take some time to present.

The infographic below this update outlines the steps in the process.


Leak testing of Central Drill Centre

We have worked with our certifying authority to satisfy ourselves the SeaRose FPSO and associated equipment is ready to safely operate the Central Drill Centre (CDC). We have been in constant communication with the C-NLOPB with our progress and they are satisfied with our plans and approach.

In the coming days, we will begin a staged restart of the CDC.

The CDC is isolated from other production flowlines and drill centres at the White Rose field. The flowlines have been displaced with seawater and had their flowline integrity proven through leak testing. These results have been verified with our certifying authority, DNV-GL, and shared with the C-NLOPB.

The restart sequence will begin with hot-oiling, which involves taking hydrocarbons from on board the SeaRose and circulating through the CDC flowlines to warm up the lines. This procedure has been verified by our certifying authority.

Once flowlines reach the required temperature, we will bring the first production well online. This well will take a several days to ramp up and stabilize at normal flow rates. Additional wells will be brought online in a planned sequence.

In support of this activity, inspections were previously completed and verified on the SeaRose hull, topsides and mooring system. We have completed additional risk assessments, reviewed start up procedures, updated our adverse weather guidelines and completed a Pre-Start Up Safety Review.

We are committed to taking the time to bring the field on safely and in accordance with our values of operating safely and protecting the environment.

In the event of any schedule conflict between the two scopes, the flowline connector recovery and plugging scope will take priority.

Flowline Steps

Jan. 11, 2019

For the last several weeks, we have been working to complete inspections, revise processes and give ourselves, the certifying authority and the regulator, confidence that we are able to proceed with various operations in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

Pending completion of our due diligence and regulatory approvals, we anticipate moving on some key activities in the coming days and weeks including:

  • Recovery of the flowline connector and plugging the flowline
  • Leak testing at the Central Drill Centre (CDC)

While we still have some final verifications to complete, we could begin flushing and leak testing of the Central Drill Centre as early as this weekend or Monday. 

Flushing/Leak testing of Central Drill Centre

Leak testing of the Central Drill Centre is a necessary step to assure us, the regulator, and our certifying authority that it is safe to resume operations in this area.  This will require us to circulate reservoir fluids including oil, gas and water from the production flowlines back to the SeaRose. The flowlines will be displaced with seawater prior to testing.

Our inspection regime has been completed, and certifying authority verification of flowlines, moorings, topsides and hull is in place. 

We have completed a risk assessment, reviewed start-up procedures and updated our adverse weather guidelines.

The testing regime has been reviewed by our certifying authority, DNV-GL, and provided to the regulator. As part of the testing regime, we will have ROVs in the water to monitor for any leaks. 

The Central Drill Centre is on its own independent loop to the SeaRose production facility and is not related to the flowline network that supports the South White Rose Extension where the November incident occurred.

Recovery of flowline connector and plugging of flowline

We continue to focus on integrity verification at the South White Rose Extension, including recovering the flowline connector and plugging the flowline.  This remains a priority for both us and the regulator.

The flowline itself is not damaged and will remain on the seabed for re-connection.  We have had ongoing meetings with the regulator this week to finalize our approach, and in support of this will conduct a tabletop exercise Friday, Jan. 11 with the C-NLOPB, Coast Guard and others to walk through and refine the process and necessary mitigations.

We will provide additional information once our plan is finalized and approved by the regulator and we have a weather window to complete the work.

We are committed to ensuring all the appropriate checks and balances are in place for this work to proceed safely and with minimal environmental impact. Key activities have been assessed for risk with an accompanying table top exercise to walk through potential challenges in the process. In addition, "hold" points have been built into our processes, and, with the regulator and relevant federal agencies, appropriate mitigations and oversight have been identified.

Dec. 10, 2018

Subject: Update, Atlantic Region offshore response and investigation update

On Friday, December 7, Husky submitted its preliminary report on the November 16 oil spill to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). Husky's preliminary investigation indicates the release happened when a flowline connector failed near the South White Rose Extension drill centre, approximately 350 km east of St. John's. Husky's final report will include engineering analysis of the flowline connector once it can be brought ashore.

The incident happened while warm crude from the SeaRose was being circulated through the subsea network to warm up the flowlines prior to restarting production. The investigation to date has confirmed there were two fluid releases containing a mix of oil, water and gas. Our initial estimate of total volume released is unchanged at 250 cubic metres (250,000 litres). It is an engineering estimate based on the flow rate of the line and the time fluid was known to be flowing. The investigation continues to assess the mix of fluids released.

The initial release occurred during the approximately 20 minutes offshore teams were troubleshooting a drop in flowline pressure. A retest led to a second release lasting approximately 15 minutes.

We are deeply sorry for the incident and are committed to learning from it and putting measures in place to ensure it does not happen again.

We have identified, and are already taking steps to address, areas for process improvement especially around the areas of:

    • Trouble shooting;
    • Non-standard or infrequent conditions; and
    • Adverse weather and challenging conditions

We are working on improving how we identify and manage non-standard or infrequent operating conditions. We are also revising our Adverse Weather Policy to add more formality around the process of restarting production.

We have implemented enhanced oversight on critical activities to raise the awareness of potential risks and providing team back up.
We continue to work with the regulator on a plan to recover the failed flowline connector and plug the flowline and are cooperating fully with its investigation.

No sheens have been detected since November 18.
Observation flights to date: 13
ROV surveys: ongoing as weather permits
Seabirds: an oiled murre brought to the seabird cleaning centre last week died over the weekend. There are no other birds at the centre.

Nov. 19 - Dec. 6, 2018

Dec. 6

No sheens have been detected since November 18.
Observation flights to date: 13
ROV surveys are continuing as weather permits.
An oiled murre was discovered on the supply vessel Atlantic Heron when it arrived in St. John's December 4. It is being treated at the seabird cleaning centre.

Dec. 5

No sheens have been detected since November 18.
Observation flights to date: 12
ROV surveys are continuing as weather permits.
An oiled murre was discovered on the supply vessel Atlantic Heron when it arrived in St. John's December 4. It is being treated at the seabird cleaning centre.

Dec. 4

No sheens have been detected since November 18 and no impacted wildlife observed since November 22.
Observation flights to date: 12
ROV surveys are continuing. Survey work on the South White Rose Extension (SWRX) has been completed.
Wildlife update:
Two Thick Billed Murres were released back into the wild last night from the supply vessel Atlantic Hawk about 50km outside St. John's harbour. The two had been recovered during the spill response and brought to a seabird cleaning centre for treatment and rehabilitation. A Great Black Backed Gull (non-oiled but recovered from a drill rig) continues to recover in the rehabilitation centre.

Dec. 3

No sheens have been detected since Nov 18 and no impacted wildlife observed since November 22.
Observation flights to date: 12
New: ROV surveys are continuing. Survey work on the South White Rose Extension (SWRX) has been completed.
Two murres and a Great Black Backed Gull (recovered from Henry Goodrich but not oiled) have been transferred to a long-term rehabilitation centre for further recovery.

Nov. 30

No sheens have been detected since November 18, and no impacted wildlife have been observed since November 22.

Wildlife observation surveys concluded on Wednesday, November 28 with 26 search grids completed. The search pattern was developed with input from Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Nov. 29

No sheens have been detected since November 18, and no impacted wildlife have been observed since November 22.

Wildlife observation surveys concluded on Wednesday, November 28 with 26 search grids completed. The search pattern was developed with input from Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Observation flights to date: 12
Subsea ROV surveys: Suspended due to sea states
Impacted wildlife observed: 18 birds
Recovered wildlife status: Two murres and a Great Black Backed Gull (recovered from Henry Goodrich, but not oiled) are ready for transfer to a long-term rehabilitation centre for further recovery.  

Nov. 28

Observation flights to date: 11
Vessels observing on-water: 6
Subsea ROV surveys: Ongoing
Impacted wildlife observed: 18 birds
Recovered wildlife status: Of the 18, 3 are being treated at the seabird rehabilitation centre in St. John's and 5 (3 petrels and 2 murre) are deceased; a Great Black Backed Gull recovered at the Henry Goodrich Friday, November 24 was not oiled by the release, but brought to rehabilitation centre for treatment.

Nov. 27

Observation flights to date: 11
Vessels observing on-water: 5
Subsea ROV surveys: Ongoing
Impacted wildlife observed: 18 birds
Recovered wildlife status: Of the 18, 3 are being treated at the seabird rehabilitation centre in St. John's and 5 (3 petrels and 2 murre) are deceased; a Great Black Backed Gull recovered at the Henry Goodrich Friday, November 24 was not oiled by the release, but brought to rehabilitation centre for treatment.

Nov. 26

Observation flights to date: 10
Vessels observing on-water: 5
Subsea ROV surveys: Ongoing
Impacted wildlife observed: 18 birds
Recovered wildlife status: Of the 18, 3 are being treated at the seabird rehabilitation centre in St. John's and 5 (3 petrels and 2 murre) are deceased; a Great Black Backed Gull recovered at the Henry Goodrich Friday, November 24 was not oiled by the release, but brought to rehabilitation centre for treatment.

Nov. 25

Observation flights to date: 10
Vessels observing on-water: 4
Subsea ROV surveys: Conducted from Monday, November 19 to Friday, November 23, when paused due to sea states. Expected to resume Monday, November 26.
Impacted wildlife observed: 18 birds
Recovered wildlife status: Of the 18, 3 are being treated at the seabird rehabilitation centre in St. John's and 5 (3 petrels and 2 murre) are deceased; a Great Black Backed Gull recovered at the Henry Goodrich Friday, November 24 was not oiled by the release, but brought to rehabilitation centre for treatment.

Nov. 24

Observation flights to date: 10
Vessels observing on-water: 4
Subsea ROV surveys: Conducted from Monday, November 19 to Friday, November 23, when paused due to sea states. Expected to resume Monday, November 26.
Impacted wildlife observed: 18 birds
Recovered wildlife status: Of the 18, 4 are at the seabird rehabilitation centre in St. John's and 4 (3 petrels and 1 murre) are deceased.
All captured birds will be treated at the rehabilitation centre.

Nov. 23

Observation flights to date: 10
Vessels observing on-water: 6
Subsea ROV surveys: ongoing since Monday, November 19
Impacted wildlife observed: 18 birds
Recovered wildlife status: Of the 18, 4 are at the seabird rehabilitation centre in St. John's and 4 (3 petrels and 1 murre) are deceased.
All captured birds will be treated at the rehabilitation centre.

Nov. 22

Observation flights to date: 9
Vessels observing on-water: 6
Subsea ROV surveys: ongoing since Monday, November 19
Impacted wildlife observed: 15 birds
Recovered wildlife status: Of the 15, 3 birds are being transported to shore for treatment; 2 will be treated, 1 is deceased. The 3 include a thick-billed murre, an unknown species of murre and an unidentified species. An additional 2 common murres are currently being treated at the centre.

Nov. 21

Observation flights to date: 8
Vessels observing on-water: 6
Subsea ROV surveys: ongoing since Monday, November 19
Impacted wildlife observed: 15 birds
Recovered wildlife status: Of the 15, 3 birds are being transported to shore for treatment; 2 will be treated, 1 is deceased. The 3 include a thick-billed murre, an unknown species of murre and an unidentified species. An additional 2 common murres are currently being treated at the centre.

Nov. 20

News Release: Husky Energy Provides Update on White Rose

Nov. 19

News Release: White Rose Update