Riding out the storm

Moira Baird
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Husky says White Rose crews could return to oilfield as early as today

The White Rose floating production, storage and offloading vessel. File photo courtesy of Husky Energy

Husky Energy says the White Rose production ship rode through the storm as expected with half its usual crew of 90 people.

“It was within our design parametres and we rode it out,” said a Husky spokeswoman.

Last weekend, Husky “downmanned” its crew aboard the production ship as a precaution.

Both nearby drill rigs — the GSF Grand Banks and the Henry Goodrich — were shut down and emptied of their crews in advance of hurricane Igor’s arrival at the oilfield located 370 kilometres east of St. John’s.

The GSF Grand Banks has a crew of 88, while the Henry Goodrich was crewed by 110 people. Those rigs will be inspected before drilling resumes.

Husky said a visual inspection, done Wednesday via supply ship and an airplane fly-over, revealed no problems.

Next comes a closer, on-site inspection by a team of crew members heading back to the rigs.

Depending on the weather — such as wave heights and wind conditions — Husky could start flying crews back to the oilfield as early as today.

Hibernia, which is 317 km east of St. John’s, reported no problems during the storm, except with the satellite phones used by crew members to call home — they were out Tuesday night because of the weather.

“That’s fixed now,” said Margot Bruce O’Connell, spokeswoman for Hibernia Management and Development Co.

Satellite phone service resumed Wednesday morning.

Bruce O’Connell said the platform maintained its own communications throughout the storm for business purposes.

Winds offshore were higher than anticipated, but she said “weather conditions were still below the design criteria for the platform … we have had more severe winds in the past than those we experienced with hurricane Igor.”

At the Terra Nova oilfield — 348 km east of St. John’s — Suncor Energy also reported no problems.

“The FPSO weathered the storm well,” said John Downton, spokesman for Suncor.

The floating production, storage and off-loading (FPSO) vessel continued to produce oil during the storm.

“The conditions were within the forecast and within the design of the vessel, so there were no issues,” he said.

Wave heights at the oilfield peaked at 12 metres during Tuesday’s storm.

Downton said the FPSO has experienced similar weather conditions during winter.

mbaird@thetelegram.com

Organizations: GSF Grand Banks, Husky Energy, Hibernia Suncor Energy

Geographic location: White Rose, Terra Nova

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  • Offshore Worker
    September 24, 2010 - 09:01

    Very glad the byes' left out there rode it out. I believe in downmanning and it should be compulsive. There is no way for emergency assistance support from land for personal injury, health issue, or god forbid, a major diaster. Come on, Suncor, do like they do in the Gulf of Mexico where they care more about the safety of thier offshore workers and get them off and have thier families at peace!!