Husky’s plan for Argentia clears provincial environmental review

Ashley Fitzpatrick
Published on August 28, 2013
A digital rendition of a wellhead platform being floated and tugged from a graving dock that would be built at the site of the former Argentia naval base, should Husky Energy decide to move ahead with the project, to pump oil from West White Rose. The image was submitted as part of documentation filed for environmental assessment of the project. — Image courtesy of Husky Energy

Husky Energy has yet to state publicly if it will use a major construction project in Argentia to further develop the White Rose oilfield off of Newfoundland.

However, the provincial government has given the company the OK for taking the Argentia route, should the company so choose.

Husky’s proposed development was detailed in a submission for environmental assessment, noting it would involve a wellhead platform being built at the former naval base at Argentia, in a purpose-built graving dock.

The offshore installation, smaller than the gravity base structures of Hibernia and Hebron, would be towed to the White Rose oilfield and tied back to the SeaRose FPSO.

The project would require laydown areas, a concrete batching plant, offices, medical clinic, mess hall and plenty of skilled workers. At the end of April, Placentia Mayor Bill Hogan said he believed at that time the project would happen in his area, rather than Husky taking the path of installing pre-fabricated subsea structures.

The proposed project was released only provincially on Tuesday and with a few conditions.

There must be an approved groundwater-monitoring plan in place before a graving dock is created, the Department of Environment has stated.

As well, a benefits agreement must be negotiated with the provincial government, with amendments to the 2007 White Rose Expansion Project Framework Agreement signed off on by the government before construction begins.

Finally, plans for the project must be released by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.

“Discussions regarding the benefit requirements for the wellhead platform project are ongoing and the parties involved are working together to negotiate an agreement,”

stated a spokeswoman for the provincial Department of Natural Resources.

A spokeswoman for Husky said the company has yet to make a decision on whether or not it will take on the project.