It has been confirmed by the operating company, Husky Energy, that a separated subsea flow line connection has caused the oil spill in Newfoundland, Canada and operations at the SeaRose floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel will remain suspended after the extreme weather late last week.
On November 15, the company had shut in oil production at the White Rose field due to operational safety concerns resulting from rough weather. Namely, an oil spill occurred on Friday, November 16 and shut-in subsea flowline was believed to be the source.
This is the second time in 2018 that Husky Energy has suspended petroleum-related operations conducted by the SeaRose FPSO vessel. On January the operator had came to this decision for precautionary reasons as an iceberg had come too close to the SeaRose FPSO.
On November 19, Husky deployed a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) to inspect the flowlines. The ROV survey confirmed a separated subsea flow line connection at the South White Rose Extension Drill Centre as the source of the spill.
No further leakage was observed during the ROV survey. The current estimate of volume spilled remains at 250,000 litres or 1,570 barrels, with a more precise estimate expected as subsea inspection continues.
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Furthermore, according to local news, a full internal investigation has been launched that Husky says will determine who the incident happened including the processes and procedure used in Husky’s decision to restart production Friday after the storm.
Operations at the White Rose field will remain suspended until a full inspection of all facilities is conducted. Husky will also need to get the approval of the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB).
Husky, the C-NLOPB and Canadian Coast Guard are currently monitoring the oil and impact on wildlife, while a wildlife rehabilitation centre is established. As of now, fourteen oiled sea birds have been confirmed, with three recovered and transported to the centre for treatment.
In addition, an investigation into the cause of this incident is underway.