Hibernia output still shut. Oil spill volume shrinking

The Hibernia oil production platform offshore Newfoundland, Canada, is still shut, as cleanup efforts continue one week after 12,000 liters of oil spilled into the Atlantic Ocean.

A photo of the Hibernia oil spill response efforts tweeted by CNLOPB on July 24, 2019
A photo of the Hibernia oil spill response efforts tweeted by CNLOPB on July 24, 2019

Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC), said Wednesday that more than 200 people, majority of them offshore, were responding to the spill daily. HDMC is the ExxonMobil-led consortium operating the Hibernia field.

“Observations from PAL surveillance flights, helicopter surveillance flights, and the vessels indicate concentrations of oil have decreased. Decrease in the sheen can be attributed to natural degradation and efforts for mechanical collection,” HMDC said.

Related: Oil spills from Hibernia platform offshore Canada

Offshore safety body C-NLOPB said there were indications that “the sheen has broken into at least two separate regions, and the remaining volume expressed is estimated to be approximately 1070 [ liters].”

“The C-NLOPB is working with partner agencies to assess the exact composition of the oil spilled as well as the fate of the balance of the initially estimated 12000 [liters],” CNLOPB tweeted.

“A portion will have been recovered. Some will have been lost to evaporation, and some will have dispersed into the water column. Further details of that assessment will follow at a later date,” C-NLOPB tweeted on Wednesday.

Map by Chevron

Four oiled birds


HMDC said that as of Tuesday evening, four oiled birds had been spotted since the oil released on July 17.

“Six third-party wildlife observers continue to monitor for wildlife from vessels and overflights. A report was received the evening of July 23 of one oiled bird, thought to be a Greater Shearwater, observed from the Keewatin. The bird appeared to be oiled, but the crew was unable to retrieve the bird. The bird that was retrieved on July 21, a Common Murre, has stabilized and continues to undergo treatment at the seabird rehabilitation center.”

“HMDC is providing regular updates to mariners. Fishers are reminded of the fisheries claims process, and any fishers who believe they have gear impacted can contact us. Production remains shut-in. HMDC is continuing its investigation. More information will be released when it becomes available,” HMDC said.

The shareholders of Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) are ExxonMobil Canada (33.125%), Chevron Canada Resources (26.875%), Suncor (20%), Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation (8.5%), Murphy Oil (6.5%) and Equinor Canada Ltd. (5%).

The Hibernia platform was towed the Hibernia oil field and positioned on the ocean floor in June of 1997 and began producing oil on November 17, 1997. The platform is 224 meters high – half the height of New York’s Empire State Building.

A photo of the Hibernia slick shared on July 18 by C-NLOPB
A photo of the Hibernia slick shared on July 18 by C-NLOPB

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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