C-NLOPB investigating 6,000-litre spill, how it was measured
The province's offshore regulator wants some clarification on how the Hibernia consortium measures the size of oil spills.
The decision comes in the wake of a crude oil spill near the platform in December.
On Jan. 3, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board issued an incident bulletin after being notified of a leak by the Hibernia Management Development Company (HMDC).
The bulletin stated about 10 litres was spilled while trying to connect a hose-end valve with a tanker near the platform on Dec. 18. It said HMDC monitored seas in the area for five days with no sheens found.
Nine days later, on Dec. 27, oil was spotted on the ocean surface, but seas were too rough to launch a remotely-operated vehicle to investigate. Three days later, HMDC said an ROV was able to confirm an "ongoing leak."
An update from the C-NLOPB on Friday stated HMDC now estimates about 6,000 litres was spilled from Dec. 27 to Jan. 1, but they couldn't confirm it had been leaking since Dec. 18 because no oil was spotted or recovered for testing that day due to rough seas.
The C-NLOPB says it is investigating the incident and "will review the methodology used by HMDC to estimate the volume" because of the sheer size of the spill.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for HMDC said operations have since returned to normal.
"HMDC regrets this discharge and is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner," HMDC's Margot Bruce-O'Connell said in a statement.
"Spill response equipment and a standby vessel are offshore and were ready to respond but the sheen was rapidly dispersed by heavy seas. We are ready to undertake the repairs and will do so as soon as the sea state conditions allow."
O'Connell stated there are two offshore loading systems for transferring hydrocarbons to tankers. She said the second system is operating normally.