Power loss to blame for Hibernia oil spill

No issues regarding safety of offshore personnel, HMDC confirms

On Saturday, an oil spill of 2,184 litres released into the Atlantic Ocean from the Hibernia platform. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) said the release was caused by the loss of main power generation that inadvertently activated the deluge system, causing drains to overflow.


Hibernia Management and Development Company (HMDC) confirmed there were no issues regarding the safety of offshore personnel, and production operations were safely halted following the incident. The company has activated its incident response plan. As of Monday afternoon, four support vessels were in the field, two surveillance flights took place and two sheen tracking buoys had been deployed.


The company also confirmed that satellite imagery is being used to identify surface oil and personnel trained in water sampling have been deployed.


According to the board, wildlife monitoring efforts are underway, with no reports of affected wildlife at this point.



This spill comes just two days after production had restarted following a 12,000 litre spill from the Hibernia platform in July. The board said it is not known at this point whether there is any connection between the Aug. 17 discharge and the restart of production operations two days prior.

“The nature and frequency of these incidents in our offshore area are obviously concerning,” said Scott Tessier, CEO of the C-NLOPB. “The C-NLOPB is focusing its efforts on driving enhanced operator performance with respect to the prevention of spills and improvements in compliance. Decisions on enforcement actions in these matters will follow the completion of our investigations under the Atlantic Accord Implementation Acts.”

Production cannot resume at the Hibernia platform until approval from the C-NLOPB, which has not yet been granted.