Canadian petroleum agency approves Hibernia platform restart following spill

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ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND – The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) issued approval to Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) to resume production operations at the Hibernia platform.

Hibernia platform
Hibernia platform

Since the spill occurred in mid-July, C-NLOPB staff have had extensive engagement with HMDC to discuss the cause of the spill, along with a range of corrective measures to ensure production operations can resume safely and without further recurrence.

The C-NLOPB is undertaking special oversight of the resumption of production operations, including continued discussions with HMDC regarding learnings and status updates.

The C-NLOPB has received and reviewed HMDC’s Preliminary Investigation Report regarding the incident. HMDC has determined that the oil and water interface layer (oil and water emulsion mixture) in the storage cell was the cause. HMDC has removed the current interface layer from the storage cell and is revising its interface management procedures to protect against future possible recurrence. These revised procedures include revisions to minimum water heights in the cells and only producing into cells without residual interface.

The independent Certifying Authority, Lloyd’s Register, has also reviewed and approved the plan to resume production operations.

HMDC will be following a staged return to production operations and will take the time necessary to reach full production in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

The C-NLOPB reiterates its thanks to staff at Environment and Climate Change Canada and its Canadian Wildlife Service, the Canadian Coast Guard and Fisheries and Oceans Canada for their ongoing, excellent support.

The C-NLOPB investigation into the mid-July spill is ongoing. Any decisions with respect to enforcement action will be informed by the C-NLOPB’s investigation.


Kabir Ismail is a blogger, website developer/administrator and a comrade.

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