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Amid COVID-19 transmission concerns, Husky Energy announced on Sunday that it will begin a suspension of major construction work on the West White Rose Project.
In a release, Husky says that risk of transmission among a large construction workforce could not be adequately mitigated.
“We are taking the steps necessary to keep our people and our construction sites safe,” CEO Rob Peabody stated in the release. “These are the right decisions for our people, their families and the community.”
Husky is working co-operatively with its contractors to safely suspend all activities and to demobilize and secure its construction sites.
As for the White Rose field and its satellite extensions 350 kilometres offshore, Husky says work continues on board the SeaRose floating production, storage and offloading vessel with enhanced workforce control measures to ensure ongoing safe operations.
The company says it will provide a business and capital spending plan update in due course.
Meanwhile, the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act, has issued an order that limits offshore sites to "only employees essential to the safe and environmentally responsible operations" with the excepetion of those approved by the Chief Safety Officer.
As such, the order means that the operators have to get all non-essential employees back onshore.
This order remains in effect until the Chief Safety Officer is satisfied normal operations can resume without restrictions.
Earlier this week, the C-NLOPB says offshore personel traveling through Cougar Helicopters facility in St. John's, along with Cougar employees, have been subject to COVID-19 screening since early March.
In a released, the C-NLOPB says screening at the heliport, conducted by Atlantic Offshore Medical Services, includes a questionnaire and temperature scan.
Individual offshore operators are also implementing additional screening for workers onboard supply vessels and for those currently awaiting redeployment.
The C-NLOPB says all stakeholders have measures in place and are in communication in order "to ensure a consistent basin-wide response."
Their offices remain closed to outside visitors and the regulator says it has begun a phased approach to having its staff work remotely, with non-essential employees being asked to stay at home and those who can already work from home to do so.