HMDC oil spill case set over for speedy disposition

Published on September 6, 2017

The Hibernia platform is pictured here with a supply boat off the east coast of Newfoundland.
— Photo courtesy Suncor Energy

A case involving an oil spill at the Hibernia platform in 2013 should come to a close early next month at provincial court.

On Tuesday, chief judge Pamela Goulding set over a Crown case against the Hibernia Management and Development Company (HMDC) to Oct. 6 for speedy disposition, which generally indicates that the company will be pleading guilty to some, if not all charges.

The HMDC is facing four counts of failure to comply with the Atlantic Accord Implementation Acts relating to a leak that began on Dec. 11, 2013, spilling an estimated 6,000 litres of oil from the platform’s loading system, before being stopped on Jan. 1, 2014.

The charges, formally filed by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) in May 2015, included unlawfully causing or permitting a spill on or from the offshore area; unlawfully failing to report oil spill in an offshore area; unlawfully failing to report and take measures to prevent further oil spill in an offshore area; and unlawfully resuming ceased work without assuring it can be done safely and without pollution.

HMDC had originally pleaded not guilty to the charges in September 2015.