Harris Centre leading West White Rose review

Project still dependent on corporate approvals

Ashley Fitzpatrick afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com
Published on June 12, 2014
A drawing shows the tow-out of the concrete base structure for Husky Energy’s wellhead platform, for the West White Rose offshore oil development.
— Image courtesy of Husky Energy

Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Harris Centre has been asked by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) to conduct a public review of Husky Energy’s West White Rose project.

It will mean an opportunity for the public to ask any and all outstanding questions on the West White Rose offshore oil project, including plans to build a wellhead platform at Argentia, in the Town of Placentia, for use in pumping oil.

The overall project has been under discussion for some time, undergoing required regulatory work for the CNLOPB and provincial and federal government ministers.

As of September 2013, the plan was released from further environmental assessment at both the provincial and federal levels.

An event was held in October 2013 in Placentia, to announce a benefits agreement for the project between the province and Husky and its partners, Suncor Energy and Nalcor Energy.

Husky has also since hosted at least one information sessions for potential project suppliers and subcontractors.

The new public review is a piece of work sought by the CNLOPB before the project can move ahead.

Husky representatives have said the project also requires further corporate approvals, though the idea would be to have oil flowing in late 2017.

The company started some early works in Argentia, to establish a construction site for the wellhead platform, at the end of 2013.

The public review work of the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development (Harris Centre) has been set for 90 days and will include four information sessions. Two are scheduled for June 24 at the Placentia Arts Centre and two June 25 at the Holiday Inn in St. John’s, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

They are open for questions on: the summary of the project, basic development plan, benefits plan for the province, socio-economic impact statement and safety analysis. All of the documents are available through a new website established for the review, where questions can also be submitted and further documentation requested: whiteroseconsultation.ca.

The Harris Centre will submit a final report, extending from the sessions, to the CNLOPB.

“In addition to the public review, CNLOPB staff will analyze the application and provide recommendations to the Board (of the CNLOPB) whose decision will be informed by the staff analysis and the public review, and then subject to approval by the Federal and Provincial Ministers of Natural Resources,” stated a notice on the review, issued Thursday.