Icebergs force drill rigs to shut down

Published on April 27, 2014
The drill rig Henry Goodrich sits in Conception Bay in late summer 2012. Drill rigs are a fairly common sight in the bay as they come in for maintenance or repairs. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) is reporting that two drilling rigs off the coast of Newfoundland were forced to disconnect from their respective wells Sunday due to approaching icebergs.

In a message posted to its official Twitter account, the CNLOPB said the Henry Goodrich and West Aquarius mobile rigs safely disconnected from the wells as a precautionary measure.

Suncor Energy is using the Henry Goodrich, while Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. currently has a contract with Seadrill to use the West Aquarius.

This is not the first time icebergs have forced oil and gas companies to take such measures in Newfoundland and Labrador. In May 2012, the presence of a medium-sized iceberg convinced Suncor to shut down production at the Terra Nova floating production, storage and off-loading installation and drilling operations on the Henry Goodrich.