Canada

Terra Nova given OK to resume drilling

Petro-Canada was given permission to resume drilling off Newfoundland Monday after another spill forced another shutdown.

Petro-Canada was given permission to resume drilling off Newfoundland Monday after another spill earlier this month forced another shutdown.

Regulators closed the platform after the equivalent of two barrels of oil spilled Dec. 20.

That spill was caused when the remains of crude oil from an earlier 1,000-barrel spill on Nov. 21 were flushed out to sea during the start-up process.

More than 170,000 litres of oil spewed into the ocean in that incident.

Caused by mechanical failure, the Nov. 21 spill resulted in an oil slick nine kilometres long and one kilometre wide.

The Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board authorized the resumption of production on Monday under specific conditions, which include better detection and response capabilities.

But Petro-Canada warned that more spills are possible as drilling resumes.

"We expect that some small volumes of oil could be washed out over the coming weeks. Conditions permitting, we will recover as much of this oil as possible," Gordon Carrick, Petro-Canada's East Coast vice-president, said in a news release.

"However, it is not likely we will be able to recover all of it, and sheens may continue to be observed periodically in the area."