Regulator Lays Charges Over Huge Oil Spill Off Canada
Canadian offshore petroleum regulator C-NLOPB has laid charges against Husky Oil, now part of Cenovus, regarding the massive White Rose offshore field oil spill in 2018.
The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board has laid three charges against Husky Oil Operations for alleged offenses related to a spill of petroleum in the White Rose field in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area, on or about November 16, 2018.
C-NLOPB said that two of the three charges were related to contraventions of the Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulations.
Its conservation officers alleged that Husky Oil did not ensure that work or activity, likely to cause pollution, ceased without delay, and having ceased work or activity that was likely to cause pollution, resumed work without ensuring it could do so safely and without pollution.
The third charge relates to a violation of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act, namely, no person shall cause or permit a spill on or from any portion of the offshore area.
To put things into context it is worth pointing out that the White Rose field is located around 215 miles southeast of St. John’s. On its eastern edge are the North Amethyst, West White Rose, and South White Rose field extensions.
All producing fields use the SeaRose FPSO which at the time of the incident was operated by Husky Energy. The company is now owned by Cenovus after the merger of the two companies.
At the time of the incident, the SeaRose FPSO experienced a loss of pressure from a subsea flowline to the South White Rose Drill Center located in the White Rose field.
The incident happened while Husky was preparing to restart production, which was suspended due to adverse weather conditions. This was the largest spill in Newfoundland and Labrador’s history estimated at 66,050 gallons.
All three contraventions constitute offenses under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act. The first appearance is scheduled for November 23, 2021, at Provincial Court in St. John’s and the C-NLOPB mentioned that it would not be commenting further at this time.
It is worth reminding that the White Rose field resumed production from the two offshore drill centers following flowline repairs and integrity testing in August 2019.
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