Charges laid against Hibernia over 2019 N.L. oil spill

·1 min read
Hibernia has been charged by the C-NLOPB in connection with an oil spill in July 2019. (Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board - image credit)
Hibernia has been charged by the C-NLOPB in connection with an oil spill in July 2019. (Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board - image credit)
Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board
Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board

Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore energy regulator has laid three charges against Hibernia operators over a 2019 spill that sent 12,000 litres of oil into the Atlantic Ocean.

The incident happened on July 17, 2019, when a mix of oil and water spilled from the Hibernia platform and into the water. Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. said it was an isolated incident and halted production at the time, adding it was likely caused by a sensor issue.

In a news release issued Tuesday, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) alleged Hibernia didn't ensure work that was likely to cause pollution was stopped immediately, along with failing to manage the associated risk for an identified hazard.

The third charge is over the spill itself, according to the petroleum board.

Hibernia will appear in provincial court in St. John's on Aug. 24. The Board said it won't be commenting further on the incident as it is now before the court.

Hibernia was also fined $28,000 by the C-NLOPB earlier this year in relation to a separate spill that occurred in August 2019. The spill released an estimated 2,200 litres of oil into the Atlantic Ocean.

The fine was originally $40,000, but was lowered to $28,000 following an appeal from Hibernia and a review of the decision by a petroleum board committee.

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