Canada: Synthetic Based Mud Spills from Henry Goodrich Drilling Rig

The C-NLOPB is responding to a report of 26,400 litres of synthetic based mud (SBM) spilled from the Henry Goodrich drilling rig on Monday, March 28, 2011. The spill was reported to the C-NLOPB by Suncor in accordance with the reporting guidelines and environmental officers are looking into the root cause of the incident.

The spill has been recorded on the C-NLOPB’s website under Environment – Spill Statistics, which was updated on March 30, 2011.

Synthetic based mud is a heavy, dense fluid used during drilling operations to lubricate the drill pipe and balance reservoir pressure. Because of its weight, the mud sinks rapidly in the water column and rests on the sea floor. The synthetic base oil used in SBM is a food-grade oil of extremely low toxicity. Because of this, effects of SBM spills typically are limited to within tens of meters of a well site and are associated with physical smothering due to seabed coverage by the mud.

Suncor Energy Inc. is a Canadian integrated energy company based in Calgary, Alberta. It specializes in production of synthetic crude from oil sands

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Source: C-NLOPB , April 1, 2011

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