Third in a six-part series
It was early Sunday morning, Nov. 21, 2004, and still dark out, when the phone rang.
Grabbing the receiver, the Canada-Newfoundland and Lab-rador Offshore Petroleum Board’s (CNLOPB) then-chief conservation officer, Wayne Chipman, was told there had been an oil spill from the Terra Nova production and storage vessel.
It had been discovered a few hours before, at 12:36 a.m.
He went to work sussing out the details and waking up staff.
With a phone call to Petro-Canada at 4:15 a.m., the CNLOPB shut down production at Terra Nova, “because they had not,” Dave Burley told The Telegram in a recent interview. He’s the current head of the board’s department of environmental affairs.
The CNLOPB has the ability to shut down an offshore operation, if it is determined there is a serious risk to the environment.
In the 2004 case, the company had stopped the accidental oil dump and was troubleshooting, but it had not shut down overall production work at the site and, according…