Nfld. & Labrador

Husky's SeaRose can resume production, regulator withdraws suspension

The C-NLOPB has withdrawn the suspension of oil production at Husky's SeaRose FPSO.

C-NLOPB 'satisfied that Husky has taken appropriate action to address the deficiencies' outlined in report

The close call with an iceberg happened last March. (CBC)

The C-NLOPB has withdrawn the suspension of oil production at Husky's SeaRose FPSO.

"The C-NLOPB's Chief Safety Officer and Chief Conservation Officer are satisfied that Husky has taken appropriate action to address the deficiencies that were identified within the safety culture of their organization," said the regulatory body in the announcement late Friday afternoon. 

It had suspended operations after a scathing report detailing that proper protocols were not followed when an iceberg came within 465 metres of the SeaRose last March.

The SeaRose FPSO should have disconnected and moved away from the iceberg. Instead, the 84 crew on board were ordered to brace for impact, according to Scott Tessier, the chair and CEO of the C-NLOPB. At the time of the incident, there were also about 340,000 barrels of crude oil onboard.

C-NLOPB Chair and CEO Scott Tessier had said the onus was on HUsky to 'rebuild confidence' following the incident. (Gary Locke/CBC)

Specifically, the C-NLOPB said, Husky has taken the following actions:

  • A comprehensive review of ice management and emergency response plans with improvements made and implemented.
  • The completion of an emergency response drill, observed by the C-NLOPB, industry partners and the offshore facility's certifying authority.
  • Significant organizational changes including the appointment of Trevor Pritchard as Senior Vice President, Atlantic Region.
  • Changes communicated to onshore and offshore employees with an emphasis on the importance of following procedure.

'Ball is in their court'

Tessier had said the suspension would remain in place until "corrective" actions were taken by Husky.

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

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

One of those specific actions involved a shakeup in Husky's top brass. 

This week, Trevor Pritchard was named senior vice-president in charge of the Atlantic region, taking over from Malcolm Maclean.

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 his profile on the company's website. He also served as Husky's general manager of operation for the Atlantic region.

With files from Fred Hutton