Husky not committing yet to building in Argentia

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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White Rose extension not necessarily going to use wellhead platform

At open house events in the fall, including one seen here at the Fluvarium in St. John's, Husky staff explained the options they are considering for their White Rose Extension development. — File photo

The provincial government is inviting comments on a detailed environmental assessment document, submitted by Husky, on the two options being considered for the company’s White Rose extension project.

A spokeswoman for the oil company confirmed Thursday a subsea option is still being moved forward alongside a proposal for construction of a wellhead platform in Argentia. 

It means the company may yet decide against major construction in the Placentia Bay area.

The main White Rose project was released from further environmental assessment in 2000 and, in 2007, a new assessment was done for the proposed addition of up to five, new drill centres on the sea floor and associated pipeline.

“These previous environmental assessments encompassed the location of the subsea tiebacks proposed herein, as well as the way in which the construction and operation activities would be performed,” states the most recent submission to regulators.

“Therefore, the description of the (extension project) focuses mainly on the wellhead platform development option, which has not been previously assessed.”

The wellhead platform is, in many ways, a smaller version of the Hibernia or Hebron platforms.

As The Telegram reported Aug. 9, initial filings for a new oil development using the platform were submitted to the province earlier that month. The submission showed a concrete batching plant, offices, a mess hall, a medical clinic, temporary sheds, lay-down areas and storage areas would all be needed at the Argentia site, if the platform option was chosen.

Following public comments on that submission, in November 2012, Husky was asked by the provincial Department of Environment for more detail around, “disposal of materials resulting from dredging and the graving site excavation, groundwater information, extent of existing contamination on site, potential effects of ocean dredging on fisheries in Placentia Bay, additional workforce/employment details and gender and diversity considerations.”

The new filing is in response to that request. It is available on the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board website. The board is assisting in the joint provincial-federal review of the project.

The document, more than a thousand pages in total, can also be requested from the Department of Environment and Conservation.

Organizations: Hibernia, Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, Department of Environment and Conservation.afitzpatrick

Geographic location: Argentia, White Rose, Placentia Bay Hebron

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