C-NLOPB suspends operations of Husky’s SeaRose FPSO after close brush with iceberg

Husky Energy has been ordered to suspend petroleum-related operations aboard its SeaRose FPSO offshore Canada, after regulators found the oil company had not followed its Ice Management Plan with a near-miss incident with an iceberg last year.

The SeaRose FPSO is located in the White Rose Field, approximately 350 km east of St. John’s.

The decision to stop operations was announced on Wednesday by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). It is related to an incident on March 29, 2017, when an iceberg entered the 0.25 nautical mile Ice Exclusion Area of the SeaRose FPSO.

There were 84 personnel and more than 340,000 barrels of crude onboard at that time. At the time, Husky told the authorities that the iceberg was approximately 40 meters wide, 60 meters long, and 8 meters high above water.

According to Husky’s Ice Management Plan (IMP) filed with the C-NLOPB, the SeaRose FPSO should have disconnected and sailed away from the threatening iceberg. That action was not taken and personnel were at one point instructed to muster and ‘brace for impact,” C-NLOPB said on Wednesday.

Ultimately, the iceberg did not make contact with the SeaRose FPSO or subsea infrastructure. There were no injuries, no environmental damage and no damage to the FPSO.

C-NLOPB launched formal investigation on May 9, 2017, conducted by C-NLOPB Safety and Environmental Compliance Officers.

“The C-NLOPB has determined there are serious issues respecting Husky’s ice management, management systems and organizational decision-making”

“This decision to suspend operations was taken now because of the preliminary report findings, which included: Husky did not follow its IMP; onshore senior management did not ensure the IMP was followed; and the Offshore Installation Manager failed to disconnect in accordance with the IMP. These findings have been shared with Husky and speak to the C-NLOPB’s concerns with the Operator’s adherence to its emergency response plans,” C-NLOPB said on Wednesday.

“The C-NLOPB has determined there are serious issues respecting Husky’s ice management, management systems and organizational decision-making. Based on the inquiry’s preliminary findings, the C-NLOPB lacks full confidence that appropriate action will be taken by the Operator during an emergency situation,” the regulator said.

The SeaRose FPSO’s petroleum-related operations will remain suspended until the C-NLOPB is confident that corrective and appropriate actions to address the findings related to its ice management, management system and organizational structure have been addressed to the satisfaction of the CSO and Chief Conservation Officer, in a manner that ensures the safety of personnel and the protection of the environment.

C-NLOPB also said it didn’t have similar concerns with drilling operations respecting the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Henry Goodrich, which is also operated by Husky, “as it has demonstrated acceptable adherence to its IMP in the past.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff