Earlier this week, Newfoundland locals were warned of extreme winds and weather conditions that eventually resulted in the province seeing the highest waves in the world on Thursday, November 15th. This morning, it was announced that off the coast of Newfoundland, an estimated 250,000 litres of crude oil had leaked into the ocean that cannot be fixed until those still hectic waves slow down. 

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The leak in question has come from a flow line leading to the SeaRose FPSO which acts as a vessel that operates 350 km off of Newfoundland's coast that is linked to Husky Energy. The leak occurred on Friday afternoon in White Rose field when crew members were attempting to restart production after Thursday's storm. 

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Right now, the current estimation of oil in the ocean is "equivalent to one-tenth of an Olympic-sized swimming pool" according to CBC News. The current estimation of 250,000 litres of oil currently in the ocean also tops the province's last largest oil spill that happened back in 2004 regarding the Terra Nova vessel. 

While no injuries have been reported, with the spill still being investigated, oil extraction is currently suspended. On top of that, with the waves on the coast still reaching up to 7 meters, it's impossible for anyone to conduct an underwater examination. Meaning the spill cannot be cleaned up or even contained until the waves calm down. As of now, responders can't even inspect to see if the tanker is still leaking or not. 

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According to a Husky spokesperson, once waves calm down to a height of 4 meters, then remote-controlled vehicles will be sent out to inspect the tanker. until then an aircraft is reported to be heading towards the area in order to inspect the situation from above. Once the Eastern Canada Response Corporation is given the green light, they will then be able to start their inspection and ultimately the cleanup.  

Unfortunately, it seems this isn't the first issue SeaRose or Husky Energy have seen this year. They were shut down earlier in the year after it was discovered by the petroleum board that Husky was violating protocol regarding a near miss collision involving an iceberg back in 2017. The vessel in question hadn't properly disconnected their lines that bring the oil into the vessel when the iceberg approached which the investigation deemed was an "economically-driven" decision. 

Source: CBC News 

*Disclaimer: Cover photo used for illustrative purposes.

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