Husky signs option to lease in Argentia

Still weighing decision on White Rose Extension GBS

Published on July 3, 2012
Husky Energy representatives have brought presentation panels, photos and videos, relating to the two proposed White Rose Extension project options, to open houses in Marystown, Argentia and St. John’s. The event in St. John’s, seen here, was held at the Fluvarium on June 28. Company reps have stated there will be further opportunities for members of the public to put questions to Husky’s project team prior to the project getting a final go-ahead. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Husky has signed an “option to lease” agreement with the Argentia Management Authority.

The oil company is holding on to 20 hectares of land on the Argentia waterfront, near Low Room Point, while it considers whether or not it will be building a gravity based structure (GBS) at the location.

Argentia Management issued a news release on the signing, but has not indicated any value for the contract.

Building a GBS in Argentia, as part of a wellhead platform, is one of two options for Husky’s White Rose Extension work. The concrete gravity structure is, in concept, about half the size of the Hibernia and Hebron platforms.

The company has been evaluating the GBS option against a subsea development. The latter would not require use of Argentia.

A contract for the pre-decision engineering and design work was awarded in April to Arup Canada.

A description of the project options has been filed with the Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board and is available on the board website.

“(Husky) enjoys a stellar business reputation in this province as the operators of the White Rose oil field and we are pleased and proud they have selected Argentia as their preferred site, should they proceed with the wellhead platform construction project,” stated chair of the Argentia Management Authority, Hedley Burge, in the release on the lease option.

“Husky’s selection of Argentia for this potential development speaks to Argentia’s potential as an industrial site that can accommodate the needs of Newfoundland and Labrador’s growing oil industry going forward. Should Husky exercise their lease option and construct the concrete gravity structure at Argentia, it will have a significant positive impact on the economy of the Placentia area, so we are pleased that this project may be coming our way.”

The Argentia announcement follows a trio of open houses — in Marystown, Argentia and St. John’s — wherein Husky offered information on the options under consideration.

At the open house in St. John’s, held at the Fluvarium on June 28, a spokeswoman for Husky told The Telegram questions at the open houses to date have primarily been about employment opportunities associated with each option.

The Argentia option would require more traditional construction jobs versus the subsea option, with the Argentia site needing, under the current plans, a concrete batching plant, offices, a mess hall, a medical clinic, temporary sheds, lay-down areas and storage areas.

Husky Energy is partnered with Suncor Energy (with a 26 per cent stake) and Nalcor Energy's oil and gas division (with a five per cent stake) on White Rose extension work.