Oil leak discovered at Hibernia

The Telegram
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Hibernia has scaled back production and stopped off-loading to tankers after discovering a leak from a valve in its northern offshore off-loading system.

About 10 litres of crude was spilled from the hose-end valve

Dec. 18, according to a release from the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, prompting Hibernia to isolate the valve. The sea surface in the area was monitored for five days. No oil sheens were reported, but the board says heavy seas prevented a remotely operated vehicle from assessing the spill.

On Dec. 27, a sheen was seen by the off-loading system, and calmer conditions allowed use of the vehicle to investigate the source of the sheen, and leakage from the hose-end valve was discovered. Hibernia Management and Development Co. is monitoring the surface, reporting estimated on-water volumes of between 0.009 litres and 0.8 litres of crude. As soon as weather conditions allow, the company will repair the leak. In the meantime, off-loading to tankers has been suspended, and production at Hibernia has been “cut back significantly,” according to the release from the board, which said no wildlife has been observed in the area.

Margot Bruce-O’Connell, public affairs for Hibernia, said Friday there isn’t an estimate yet for how much crude may have leaked from the valve.

“What I can tell you, though, is that the sheen was not visible this morning,” she said. “We have reduced production. We’re still producing, but we’ve reduced the production levels, because we’re not planning at this point to transfer from that system at this time.”

The total volume of crude contained in the affected part of the loading system is about 16,000 litres, according to the board.

Organizations: Hibernia, Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, Management and Development Co.

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Recent comments

  • Wondering
    January 04, 2014 - 12:37

    Years ago when I worked with a fork lift, we would load a truck/ship or unload a truck/ship. Apparently now we "on load" and "off load". Who knew we were doing it wrong?

  • david
    January 04, 2014 - 11:09

    Forget this minor detail...ocean will take care of it. And it's not like you drink seawater, so who cares about that anyway? Fracking! That's our enemy.....just imagine what could happen, and keep imagining it... over and over and over. See !?! Fracking!!!!!!!

  • frostback
    January 04, 2014 - 06:09

    Ten liters of oil? Ten liters? How come that didn't get into the headline? In an earlier time, Coast Guard vessels used to deliberately pump hundreds of thousands of liters of oil, to try to shield storm-damaged ships from the waves. The phrase even entered the language, "to pour oil on troubled waters." While any spill is hazardous, don't you think that this is a bit of an over-reaction? Or can I expect to be a headline story, the next time I change the oil in my car?