Husky says it preparing for the next step in restoring full connectivity to the South White Rose Extension drill centre.
The company in a news release said it's received regulatory approval to install a replacement flowline connector in the affected flowline. This flowline was plugged in March and has since been displaced with seawater.
In the coming days, Husky said it will install a new flowline connector at the site, reconnecting the two ends of the flowline. This work will be done by the vessel Skandi Vinland. Activities will start this weekend to prepare the work site including pre-deployment of tools and equipment.
The work weather dependent and is expected to take about two weeks to complete, Husky said.
Husky said when the connector is replaced, it is possible that residual oil trapped when plugs were installed in March could be released to surface. While the risk of residual oil releases are low, additional mitigations will be in place to ensure that any releases are managed quickly. There will be a remote operated vehicle monitoring of subsea activities, a second vessel with oil spill response equipment at site and any work in which there is a oil spill risk will be done during the day.
The replacement flowline connector has a higher load capacity than the one which failed in November, Husky said. Once installed, Husky will report back to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) and certifying authority before agreeing on a testing regime to verify system integrity.
Earlier this week, Husky submitted an interim investigation report to the C-NLOPB. The report identifies a number of contributing factors, some of which were shared when the preliminary report was filed in December 2018.
The investigation is still going on, however.
Most corrective actions will be complete before resuming production from the remaining drill centres, while others, such as training, will have both short- and long-term implementation dates, Husky said.
Husky is also conducting technical studies into what caused the flowline to separate. Indications point to hydrate development, Husky said.
It's also finalizing evaluations of other potential causes, such as flowline tension and bending movements. Hydrates are crystalline structures that are formed when natural gas and water combine at low temperature and high pressure, Husky said. Growth of these structures can form ice-like solids.
Husky said understanding the limits of the equipment will allow the company to adapt our operating procedures and monitoring plans.
"For example, we know that hydrate development is possible under certain conditions. Flow assurance work being carried out by a third-party contractor will help us better mitigate against this in future. As well, our operating procedures have been rewritten to use more conservative operating limits during start-up conditions," the news release said.
Husky said it will resume production when it has satisfied the regulator and certifying authorities and that conditions are in place to ensure integrity and safe operation of the flowline.