Faulty valve said to be the cause of oil spill off Newfoundland

Canada’s Husky Energy has said that that it was not yet precisely clear why a valve failed, causing a flowline to the SeaRose FPSO to leak an estimated 250,000 litres of oil into the Atlantic Ocean south of Newfoundland on Friday 16th November.

Husky’s senior vice president for the Atlantic region Trevor Pritchard said that the leadership on board the SeaRose made the decision that rough seas and stormy conditions had subsided enough to resume production that day, and began procedures to restart. During a process of moving warm oil from the SeaRose through the lines, a valve failed and the oil spilled.

Pritchard said oil was flowing well below the line’s maximum pressure. Husky Energy planned to bring up the broken connector from the ocean’s floor for further investigation. Pritchard said the spill was a “batch spill,” and the pumping of oil was halted soon after the spill was found.

A major storm prompted the shutdown of all Newfoundland and Labrador offshore facilities.