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Memorial's many connections to the SeaRose

The SeaRose Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessel (FPSO). Photo courtesy of Husky Energy

When the Husky Energy SeaRose sailed from the Cow Head facility in Mortier Bay near Marystown this past summer, President Axel Meisen was able to reflect on the deep ties Husky and the project have had with Memorial University.

“I am very pleased with Memorial's connection to Husky Energy and to this particular vessel,” Dr. Meisen said. “Husky and Memorial have strong common interests in research, education and training related to Newfoundland and Labrador 's offshore oil and gas resources. The company has supported us in many ways, including the endowment of an oil and gas research chair, travel bursaries for fine arts students at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, co-op placements and the hiring of our graduates, especially graduates from the Marine Institute and the faculties of Science, Engineering and Business Administration. I congratulate Husky on the successful completion of the SeaRose and wish her and her crew well.”

“By the end of the year 2005, this highly specialized, world-class vessel will begin producing oil from the White Rose field, fulfilling its promise of delivering long-term economic benefits to Newfoundland and Labrador and all of Canada,” said Dr. John Lau, president and CEO of Husky Energy.

The SeaRose Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessel (FPSO). Photo courtesy of Husky Energy

The SeaRose FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) ship headed to the Grand Banks to begin pumping oil with a crew that received its training from Memorial's Marine Institute. Since January 2005, the Marine Institute and its partners have been delivering the training required to prepare the crew of the SeaRose for their roles on board the vessel. This training included aspects of safety, survival, technical training, and vessel operations. It is the culmination of a $2.5 million contract signed by the Marine Institute in June 2003. In addition to a significant development and delivery role, the Marine Institute has also been responsible for the coordination of the delivery through facilities in St. John's, Foxtrap and Marystown.

In 2003, the Calgary-based company also endowed the Husky Energy Chair in Oil and Gas Research. For his role in establishing Memorial's first endowed chair, Dr. Lau was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at spring convocation 2004.

The first Husky chair is Dr. R. Phillip Bording, an expert in the use of seismic methods for petroleum reservoir characterization.

In October 2004, Dr. Lau presented a 1:1,200 model of the SeaRose to the Marine Institute. Model builders at Samsung shipyard in South Korea built the model during the design and construction of the SeaRose. The model accurately reproduces the hull, propulsion system, topsides, turret structure, flare, and offloading systems. The Marine Institute will use the model as a study tool for its naval architecture and marine engineering systems design programs and will make it available for scheduled public viewing.

Dr. John Lau, president and CEO of Husky Energy and his wife Heather Lau, at the SeaRose collection exhibition in May. Photo credit: Penney Photography.

The SeaRose Collection of art created by students in Sir Wilfred Grenfell College's Fine Arts program is also hanging in the accommodations module that's home to 80 men and women for the 12-15 year production life of the field.

In return for the art work, Husky Energy has established the Husky Energy SeaRose Travel Bursary, an annual travel grant of $2,000 for a Fine Arts student intending to study at Memorial University's campus in Harlow, England.

The grant will be awarded over the entire 15-year production of the White Rose oil field.

Heather Lau, vessel sponsor of the SeaRose and wife of Dr. Lau, has long recognized that art enriches lives. Inspired by that, she envisioned a project that would provide contemporary art to the people working on the SeaRose. Mrs. Lau chaired the selection jury that consisted of Fabian Mulroney, SeaRose marine supervisor; Barb Hunt, visual arts professor at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College and project co-ordinator; Gail Tuttle, exhibition curator; and Fine Arts students Kenneth Butler and Candace Fulford.

untitled by Grenfell student Jon Janes was the Juror choice for Husky Energy at the SeaRose Collection exhibition this past year. Photo credit: David Morrish

A special Sail Away Ceremony marked the completion of the SeaRose. The ceremony was held in Marystown and in addition Drs. Lau and Meisen, other dignitaries attending included Premier Danny Williams, Lt.-Gov. Edward Roberts and Burin St. Georges MP Bill Matthews. As part of the event's activities, Husky officials provided a technical briefing and a tour. The SeaRose was built in South Korea and arrived in Marystown last April. Work in Marystown focused on the fabrication, installation and commissioning of topsides facilities for the production platform. At peak production the White Rose project employed more than 1,400 people.