Husky offshore oil vessel SeaRose suspended after close call with iceberg

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ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A federal-provincial regulator has ordered the suspension of oil-related operations on the SeaRose FPSO vessel off the Newfoundland and Labrador coast in relation to a close call with an iceberg it had last March.

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board says the vessel operated by Husky Oil Operations Ltd. will remain suspended from operating until it is sure that “corrective and appropriate actions” have taken place to address its ice management procedures and other organizational issues.

It says the floating production, storage and offloading vessel was operating with 84 people and upwards of 340,000 barrels of crude onboard in the White Rose Field 350 kilometres east of St. John’s when an iceberg entered its 0.25-nautical-mile ice exclusion area.

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It says the SeaRose should have disconnected and sailed away from the threatening iceberg but that action was not taken and personnel were at one point instructed to muster and “brace for impact.” No impact occurred.

The regulator says Husky’s operations are to be suspended in a safe, controlled and environmentally prudent manner while maintaining the integrity of the installation, adding its decision is based on preliminary results from an inquiry held last year.

The board says it is taking no action against drilling operations involving the mobile offshore drilling unit Henry Goodrich, also operated by Husky, as it has demonstrated acceptable adherence to ice management in the past.

The Canadian Press

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