Weather hinders repair of leak at Hibernia platform

Published on January 8, 2014
The Hibernia platform is pictured here with a supply boat off the east coast of Newfoundland.
— Photo courtesy Suncor Energy

Rough weather has so far prevented the reparation of a leak at the Hibernia platform.

The Canada-Newfoundland and Lab-rador Offshore Petroleum Board said last week that a about 10 litres of crude oil was spilled from the hose-end valve of the platform’s loading system Dec. 18. The hose was isolated from the rest of the system and the sea surface monitored, with heavy seas preventing a remotely operated vehicle from getting a closer look.

On Dec. 27, a sheen of oil was noted on the surface of the water near the system, which a few days later was confirmed to be the result of a leak from the valve. On Friday, a spokeswoman for Hibernia said the company had equipment on standby to repair the leak as soon as weather conditions permitted. On Tuesday, spokeswoman Margot Bruce-O’Connell said weather conditions have still not allowed the company to fix the leak, but the equipment is still on standby.

“We’re ready to undertake the repairs to the loading system, but we’re still waiting on sea-state conditions,” said Bruce-O’Connell, who added that no sheen has been seen on the water since Friday.

Production at the platform, which was cut back following the discovery of the spill, is returning to normal, said Bruce-O’Connell.