Worker injured aboard Suncor Energy’s Terra Nova FPSO

An offshore worker was injured in an incident aboard Suncor Energy’s Terra Nova floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel offshore Canada on Sunday, December 29.

Terra Nova FPSO; Source: Suncor
Terra Nova FPSO; Source: Suncor

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) said on Monday that a worker on the Terra Nova FPSO was injured after falling from a ladder while conducting gas testing.

According to the C-NLOPB, the offshore medic and emergency response team were called to the scene. The injured worker was transferred to St. John’s by medevac on Sunday evening and is currently in the hospital under medical care.

It is worth noting that an order to suspend production-related operations on the Terra Nova FPSO had been previously issued by the C-NLOPB on December 19, 2019, in response to another issue.

Namely, the regulator’s chief safety officer (CSO) determined at the time that Suncor was not compliant with regulatory requirements to maintain and comprehensively inspect equipment critical in the safe operation of the installation, to ensure repairs are carried out in a timely manner, and to ensure that mitigation measures are effective in minimizing hazards.

Specifically, the CSO has found that those requirements have not been met with respect to the availability of redundant fire water pump systems onboard the installation.

C-NLOPB also added on Monday that this worker injury occurred during safety-focused operations and was not included in the scope of suspended activity.

The C-NLOPB is reviewing this incident, along with others that have recently taken place on facilities operated by Suncor Energy in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area.

Production-related operations remain suspended on the Terra Nova FPSO and will not resume until Suncor Energy has received approval from the C-NLOPB.

Discovered in 1984, the Terra Nova oil field was the second to be developed on the Grand Banks offshore Newfoundland. Production from the field began in 2002, using the Terra Nova FPSO.

In May 2019, Suncor and the Terra Nova joint venture owners sanctioned plans to proceed with a project that will extend the life of the FPSO vessel to approximately 2031. The asset life extension project is expected to allow the facility to capture approximately 80 million additional barrels of oil for the Terra Nova partnership. The asset life extension project will take place in 2020.


Near-miss incidents on Terra Nova

During 2019, Suncor had three reported near-miss incidents on the Terra Nova FPSO.

The first one happened in March 2019 when a grease drum dropped from a lifting basket, coming to rest on an enclosure below.

In June 2019, an offshore worker aboard Suncor’s Terra Nova FPSO offshore Canada was exposed to hazardous contents of a slop tank, while last October, another near-miss incident happened while workers on the Terra Nova FPSO were completing a lift using an air hoist that travels on a trolley assembly through the lower turret to the roof of the Quick Connect DisConnect (QCDC) room.

Following the completion of the lift and while preparing to store the air hoist and trolley assembly, a sling failed, and the trolley assembly weighing approximately 200 kg fell approximately 34 meters onto an enclosure below.

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