Charges Laid against Hibernia for 2013 Spill


Published May 25, 2015 3:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has laid four charges against Hibernia Management and Development Company (HMDC) for alleged offences related to the spilling of crude oil from the offshore loading system of the Hibernia Platform.

The spill was first reported on December 18, 2013, and was not stopped on January 1, 2014. About 6,000 liters of oil were spilt into the sea about 350 kilometers offshore from St. John’s. The release occurred from the Hibernia platform’s north loading system.

Based on the information obtained during the investigation process, C-NLOPB conservation officers allege that HMDC caused or permitted crude oil to be spilled into the offshore area, failed to take all reasonable measures to prevent a further spill and restarted work that had been suspended because of a spill while that spill was ongoing. 

C-NLOPB conservation officers also allege that HMDC failed to fully report the particulars in the manner required by the applicable regulations.

The shareholders of HMDC are: ExxonMobil Canada (33.125 percent), Chevron Canada Resources (26.875 percent), Suncor (20 percent), Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation (8.5 percent), Murphy Oil (6.5 percent) and Statoil Canada Ltd. (5 percent).

Previous spills in the region include 165,000 liters from the Terra Nova FPSO in 2004, and 4,470 liters from Husky Energy’s SeaRose FPSO vessel in 2008.

The C-NLOPB is the independent joint agency of the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador responsible for the regulatory oversight of petroleum-related activities in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area, including; health and safety for offshore workers, protection of the environment, management and conservation of offshore petroleum resources, compliance with the provisions of the Accord Acts that deal with Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador employment and industrial benefits, issuance of licenses for offshore exploration and development, and resource evaluation, data collection, curation and distribution.

As the matter is now before the courts, the C-NLOPB will not be commenting further at this time.