Nfld. & Labrador

CBC responds to offshore petroleum board's letter

CBC is responding to a letter it received from the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board regarding the corporation's coverage of a recent offshore incident that left a large hole in an offshore oil rig.

CBC is responding to a letter it received from the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board regarding the corporation's coverage of a recent offshore incident that left a large hole in an offshore oil rig east of St. John's.

Last Thursday afternoon the supply vessel, the Maersk Detector and the GSF Grand Banks collided, leaving what was described as a five-metre hole in one of the eight columns supporting the rig.

The rupture occurred at 3:30 p.m. NT at the White Rose oilfield, about 350 kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland.

The board criticized CBC for reporting that waves in the area of the rig were six-metres high at the time of the incident.

"Our information from both the Coast Guard and the on-site operator is that sea-state was significantly less than six metres," wrote the C-NLOPB.

CBC was told by a Husky Energy spokesperson that waves were between four and six metres at the time of the incident. It also checked Environment Canada information that said the sea state was close to five-metres on the Grand Banks at the time.

The board also took issue with a CBC report that suggested the C-NLOPB only spoke publicly about the incident after the media reported about it.

"The operator [oil company] has twenty-four hours to provide a written summary of the incident...The CBC report that the incident "wasn't revealed by the board until the media got wind of it' is grossly misleading," wrote the board.

The incident happened Thursday afternoon. CBC reported about the incident Thursday night. The board issued a news release about the collision Friday afternoon.