Nfld. & Labrador

Husky shakes up top brass, in wake of SeaRose suspension

There is a new vice-president in charge of Atlantic operations.
Malcolm Maclean is no longer senior vice-president for the Atlantic region with Husky Energy. (CBC)

Husky Energy has appointed a new senior vice-president who will be in charge of the Atlantic region — in the wake of a scathing report from the C-NLOPB and a shutdown of oil production on the SeaRose FPSO. 

Trevor Pritchard is taking over for Malcolm Maclean in the shakeup.

Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore petroleum board issued the suspension order in connection with an incident that happened last March.

At that time, Husky did not follow regulations when an iceberg came less than 500 metres from the vessel, according to the regulator.

Oil production on the SeaRose floating platform been suspended. (CBC)

The SeaRose had 84 people onboard at the time, in addition to over 300,000 barrels of oil.

"[The SeaRose FPSO] should have disconnected and moved into safe space, away from the iceberg. They did not do that," Scott Tessier, chair and CEO of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) said earlier this month.

"Those findings have given the board cause for concern and lack of confidence that the operator will adhere to its emergency response plans," Tessier said.

New VP has safety experience

Pritchard previously held the title of vice-president of process and occupational safety, overseeing Husky's "operational integrity and ensuring a safe work environment," according to a profile of Pritchard on the company's website. He also served as Husky's general manager of operation for the Atlantic region.

That background could come in handy as Husky attempts to demonstrate to the C-NLOPB that it is committed to safety following the close call with the iceberg.

Trevor Pritchard has been named Husky Energy's senior vice-president for the Atlantic Region. (Husky Energy)

The C-NLOPB has said there is no timeline for the suspension.

"It really depends on the operator's response — the ball is in their court," Tessier said.

"The operator needs to come in and convince us that they take these findings seriously and to rebuild our confidence that they are capable of safe and environmentally-responsible operations." 

1st C-NLOPB suspension since 2004

Husky Energy admitted it should have done things differently.

"We will learn from this incident. We will work with the C-NLOPB and take the actions necessary to satisfy the regulator," said CEO Rob Peabody on Jan. 17.

"A number of measures have already been put in place to further improve ice management operations.The safety of personnel and the protection of the environment remains Husky's number one priority.""

CNLOPB Chair and CEO Scott Tessier says the ball is now in Husky's court to determine when the FPSO can resume producing oil. (Gary Locke/CBC)

This is the first time since 2004 that the C-NLOPB has suspended operations in the offshore. 

Husky will meet with the C-NLOPB later this week to outline a new operations strategy.

Husky confirmed the changes but said it does not comment on personnel issues.

With files from Fred Hutton