Husky Energy oil spill the largest in Newfoundland history

Talal Husseini 20 November 2018 (Last Updated August 4th, 2020 12:16)

Canadian oil and gas company Husky Energy has reported a spillage of 250m3, or 1,572 barrels, of oil, offshore the Canadian province of Newfoundland. The Husky Energy oil spill is said to have resulted from a leaky flowline connecting the White Rose oilfield to the SeaRose FPSO storage vessel.

Husky Energy oil spill the largest in Newfoundland history
Husky Energy has reported an oil spill off the coast of Canada, said to be the largest ever oil spill in the region. Credit: Berardo62.

Canadian oil and gas company Husky Energy has reported a spillage of 250m3, or 1,572 barrels, of oil, offshore the Canadian province of Newfoundland. The Husky Energy oil spill is said to have resulted from a leaky flowline connecting the White Rose oilfield to the SeaRose FPSO storage vessel.

The company noticed the leak on Friday while restarting production after poor weather conditions forced a temporary shutdown in operations. Since then, the White Rose field, as well as other oil producing projects in the region, has once again halted production, until the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board deems the area safe to restart operations.

After releasing details of the spill, Husky Energy spokesperson Colleen McConnell stated that the firm was now investigating the local area for oil sheens and impact on wildlife. Husky Energy has begun underwater surveys to determine the true effects of the leakage.

Other projects offshore Newfoundland were affected, including production at ExxonMobil’s Hebron and Hibernia fields, and the Terra Nova project currently operated by Suncor Energy.

ExxonMobil announced that production at Hebron had ‘safely resumed’ on Monday, while the Hibernia field has yet to restart operations.

This Husky Energy oil spill is said to be the largest to occur in Newfoundland’s history, eclipsing the Petro Canada (now part of Suncor Energy) incident in November 2004, when around 1,000 barrels of crude oil leaked into the sea from the Terra Nova FPSO vessel.

While there were no injuries to oil workers during the bad weather conditions and subsequent spillage, environmental groups raised concerns over the damage of oil spills on the local Arctic marine environment.

“This is the inevitable nightmare scenario where extreme weather is making it impossible to determine how much oil has been spilled, much less try to clean it up,” said Greenpeace Canada senior energy strategist Keith Stewart in a statement.

Canada’s Atlantic projects produce around 280,000 barrels of oil per day. Wood Mackenzie director of upstream Canada Mark Oberstoetter said that temporary standstills in production in the area are unlikely to affect global oil markets, and production should resume quickly.

Husky Energy’s share price fell to C$15.93 as of Tuesday, 20 November 2018.