Drill ship damaged at Husky field off Newfoundland

Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:38pm EST
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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - A drilling ship at Husky Energy Inc's White Rose oilfield off the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland has been damaged in a collision with a supply ship, the company said on Friday.

The company said it does not yet know if the incident will delay expansion plans at the field, but said it did not cause any damage to the environment.

White Rose said the Maersk Detector supply ship collided with one of the columns on the drill ship GSF Grand Banks, damaging both ships above the water line. There were no injuries and the stability of the drill ship was not affected, Husky said.

The Grand Banks was working on a water-injection well at West White Rose, a satellite field where the company has a two-well pilot project as it looks at supplementing declining oil production from the main field.

Colleen McConnell, a spokeswoman for Husky, said the well had been cased and cemented before the incident and that the accident had no environmental impact.

McConnell said the drilling ship had been scheduled to go to a shipyard for maintenance in January. Because of the damage, the company is now looking to bring it in sooner but cannot yet say when that will be.

She also said that Husky does not yet know if the incident will affect the company's development plans for the field.

"We are looking at whether there will be an impact," she said.

The field is in the Jeanne d'Arc basin and would be the third associated with the White Rose project. The two producing fields, White Rose and North Amethyst, pump a combined 71,000 barrels per day.

(Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Peter Galloway)