Husky hunting for third rig

Moira Baird
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Husky Energy is casting around for a third drill rig to do additional wells off Newfoundland and Labrador.

Paul McCloskey, vice-president of Husky's East Coast operations, told NOIA delegates Friday efforts to hire another rig are in "very early stages."

"We often talk about the rig of opportunity and we recognize that drilling capacity in the basin can be a constraint upon our ambitions," he said during a question and answer session.

Husky Energy is casting around for a third drill rig to do additional wells off Newfoundland and Labrador.

Paul McCloskey, vice-president of Husky's East Coast operations, told NOIA delegates Friday efforts to hire another rig are in "very early stages."

"We often talk about the rig of opportunity and we recognize that drilling capacity in the basin can be a constraint upon our ambitions," he said during a question and answer session.

"Husky would like to pursue other activity, were the capacity available.

"We've put out a really general inquiry to the industry to find out, in the light of events in the Gulf of Mexico, whether additional rig capacity might become available - perhaps even for a short time - to help us manage our offshore obligations."

Two semi-submersibles, GSF Grand Banks and Henry Goodrich, already on contract to work off Newfoundland.

Husky is also considering some exploration targets in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin.

"I would anticipate over the next 18 months that we would drill perhaps two of those, maximum three," McCloskey said.

Senate appearance

McCloskey tied up what he called a loose end about his appearance Thursday before the Senate committee reviewing offshore drilling safety in Canadian waters.

He was questioned about who is in charge when an oil spill occurs and the role of the Eastern Canada Response Corp. (ECRC).

ECRC is an industry-owned company responsible for oil spill cleanups.

At the time, McCloskey said he wasn't able to answer a specific question about how the relationship works between Husky and ECRC during spill response.

"We contract ECRC to provide support to us," he said in an interview.

"They store equipment for us. They train our people. They participate in our spill response exercises.

"As of our contract at the end of last year, we also share with them our spill response plans and they provide input on those.

As the operator of the White Rose oilfield, McCloskey said Husky would be expected to manage all the resources used to clean up a spill.

He said the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board would also oversee those cleanup efforts.

"We would retain the incident authority unless relieved of it by the board."

McCloskey said this role will be clarified when he submits additional information to the Senate on oil spill response.

mbaird@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Eastern Canada Response, Husky Energy, Senate committee Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, East Coast, Gulf of Mexico White Rose

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