Eastern Canada’s Crude Oil Production Still Recovering After Monster Storm

Searose FPSO. Photo: MarineTraffic.com / Captain Robert Walsh

Production remains shut in at the SeaRose floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel with all production wells secure after a period of extreme weather and an oil release late last week. Husky now estimates that 250,000 liters of oil may have leaked.

By Sheela Tobben (Bloomberg) — A huge low-pressure system that swept through Canada’s Atlantic seaboard last week shut all of the region’s oil production. Only one field has restarted service in the storm’s wake, while another is battling an oil leak.

Waters off the province of Newfoundland and Labrador host four producing fields — Hibernia, Terra Nova, White Rose and Hebron — which yielded over 150,000 barrels of crude a day in September, according to the Offshore Petroleum Board. All four were shut ahead of the storm, operators said. Only Hebron has resumed operations, according to Lynn Evans, a spokeswoman for operator Exxon Mobil Canada.

Winds from the system reached 86 miles (138 kilometers) per hour, as strong as a Category 1 hurricane, and generated waves reaching 54 feet, said Joseph Sienkiewicz, ocean applications branch chief at the U.S. Ocean Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. Swells from the storm reached across the Atlantic to the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. “It was a very large storm,” he said.

Husky Energy Inc. is responding to an oil spill from its White Rose field that’s estimated at about 1,572 barrels. The company hasn’t indicated when service might resume.

Meanwhile, operator Suncor Energy Inc. may restart service at its Terra Nova field this weekend, according to a person familiar with the matter. The site was shut earlier this month for repairs to a gas leak, and was expected to resume service a few days later, the person said. That plan, however, fell through because of the storm. Suncor spokesman Paul Newmarch said the field remains offline and would return to operations once post-storm inspections were completed.

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