Watchdog lays charges against Hibernia partners over oil spill

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

Hibernia is an oil field in the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately 315 kilometres (196 mi) east-southeast of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, in 80 m of water.

To remind, in December 2013 HMDC reported an ongoing leak of crude oil from the hose end valve (HEV) of the Northern Offshore Loading System (OLS). The leak was stopped in January 2014.

“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 said in the press statement.

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 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 Statoil Canada Ltd. (5%).

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.