On Monday, Husky Energy reported it had successfully raised to the surface the flowline connector components that had failed last November near the South White Rose Extension drill centre about 350 kilometres east of St. John's.
The components were brought to the surface in a basket using the crane on the Skandi Vinland vessel and placed on the aft deck.
A statement notes the components will be brought onshore for further investigation and analysis to help Husky and the regulator determine the root cause of the oil spill Nov. 16, 2018 when 250,000-litres of oil spilled into the ocean.
“We have completed our activities at the White Rose Field/South White Rose Extension (SWRX),” the statement said. “This milestone is the culmination of months of planning and preparation and involved a team of over 100 people.
“Over the last five days, we disconnected the bolts and flanges around a damaged flowline connector at SWRX, removed the connector and plugged the open ends of the flowline. 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 such as the Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Wildlife Service and Environment and Climate Change Canada provided oversight of the operation onshore and offshore, and input into the plan and related spill mitigations.”
Husky Energy said that while there were some light oil sheens during the program, they were managed quickly by response teams at the surface. The total volume of oil released is in the range of 50 litres which is consistent with expectations, the statement said.
“In future, we will circulate the fluids from this and other flowlines back towards the SeaRose production vessel, displacing the flowlines with water to further reduce environmental risk.”
Operations to recover the faulty flowline connector began last week after months waiting for a suitable weather window.
At the time of the November oil spill, the SeaRose FPSO vessel was attempting to restart oil production after a shutdown due to a storm. Production has been halted since.