Nfld. & Labrador

Husky retrieves connector blamed for N.L.'s largest oil spill

The company says it's completed a delicate recovery mission in the White Rose oil field.

Company says 50 litres of oil have been spilled during recovery

Trevor Pritchard, senior vice president in the Atlantic region for Husky, says the retrieval mission is compete. (CBC)

Husky Energy has completed a delicate recovery mission in the White Rose oil field.

The company sent a pair of remotely operated vehicles down into the sea Friday to pick up the faulty connector it says was behind the largest oil spill in Newfoundland and Labrador history.

A spokesperson for Husky confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the connector had been successfully brought to the deck of the Skandi Vinland vessel, stationed nearby.

In a release, Husky said the mission involved a team of more than 100 people. 

"Over the last five days, we disconnected the bolts and flanges around a damaged flowline connector at South White Rose Extension, removed the connector and plugged the open ends of the flowline," said Husky spokesperson Colleen McConnell.

Trevor Pritchard, Husky Energy's senior vice-president of the Atlantic region, said earlier Tuesday the recovery operation was going well.

Husky Energy released this diagram depicting its plans for retrieving the faulty connector. (Husky Energy)

"We've achieved that plan with due diligence, care and consideration," he said in an interview with The St. John's Morning Show.

Husky Energy provided this graphic showing the red Skandi Vinland vessel, the blue Maersk Detector vessel, a fixed-wing plane and an aerostat balloon. All are on hand for the recovery mission, the company said. The inset shows the subsea pipes. (Husky Energy)

Husky said about 50 litres of oil was spilled during the operation, which was in line with expectations.

The company said the operation was monitored onshore and offshore by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, the Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Wildlife Service and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

"In future, we will circulate the fluids from this and other flowlines back towards the SeaRose production vessel, displacing the flowlines with water to further reduce environmental risk," said McConnell.

About 50 litres of oil was spilled during the recovery. (Husky Energy)
Pritchard said the component will be brought in for forensic investigation to determine the cause of the failure that led to the oil spill.

That means Husky is one step closer to getting back to full operations in the White Rose oil field. 

He said the central drill centre is currently operational, and that he's hoping that by midway through the year, the southern drill centre will be up and running as well. 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from The St. John's Morning Show

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