C-NLOPB suspends Sea Rose FPSO operations

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has suspended operations at Husky Oil Operations’ SeaRose FPSO after an investigation into an incident last March when an iceberg entered the vessel’s 0.25 nm Ice Exclusion Area. The SeaRose FPSO is located in the White Rose Field, about 215 miles east of St. John’s.

There were 84 people and upwards of 340,000 barrels of crude on board the Sea Rose when the iceberg entered the exclusion zone in March 2017. Husky’s Ice Management Plan (IMP) required the SeaRose FPSO to disconnect and sail away from the threatening iceberg. However, it did not, and personnel were at one point were instructed to muster and brace for impact. Ultimately, the iceberg did not make contact with the SeaRose or subsea infrastructure. There were no injuries, no environmental damage and no damage to the facility.

The decision to suspend operations was taken because the preliminary report findings included:

  • Husky did not follow its IMP
  • onshore senior management did not ensure the IMP was followed
  • the Offshore Installation Manager failed to disconnect in accordance with the IMP.

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

Husky Energy CEO Rob Peabody said that “we could have and should have responded differently according to the pre-existing plan, and we will learn from this incident. We will work with the C-NLOPB and take the actions necessary to satisfy the regulator”, adding that a number of measures had already been put in place to improve ice management operations.