The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) continues its enhanced oversight of plans and procedures that have been put in place by operators to respond to the risks of COVID-19 and protect the health of offshore workers. At the time of issuance of this update, no worker in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area has tested positive for COVID-19.
Ongoing COVID-19-Specific Measures
Operators, the C-NLOPB, government officials and Atlantic Offshore Medical Services will engage with one another and provincial health authorities in cases where a worker on an offshore facility exhibits symptoms that require COVID-19 testing. This involves self-isolating of the person under investigation, followed by a medevac with appropriate precautionary measures as well as self-isolating of contacts offshore. In the event of a positive test, further contact tracing, self-isolations, monitoring and other appropriate measures would occur, under the direction of Public Health.
In an effort to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 to an offshore facility, operators have incorporated self-isolation protocols for workers prior to travelling offshore and are continuously monitoring workers for symptoms while on each facility. Screening protocols at the Heliport are being adapted with time as per Public Health advice, and physical distancing and enhanced cleaning measures have been implemented on all offshore facilities. Operators remain engaged with their workforce as health and safety, including mental health, continue to be top priorities.
Public Heath has confirmed there is still no requirement for offshore workers to self-isolate when returning to St. John’s from a facility operating under a C-NLOPB authorization offshore.
Pursuant to the March 22 Order of the C-NLOPB’s Chief Safety Officer, only employees who are essential to the safe and environmentally responsible operations of offshore installations are permitted to work offshore until further notice. Essential workers are those directly engaged in the delivery of safe and environmentally responsible offshore operations, including those required to implement measures necessitated by COVID-19.
Emergency response plans for drilling and production are being continually assessed in light of evolving travel restrictions, exemptions and border tightening.
Current Drilling and Production Activities
Production continues from the Hibernia and Hebron platforms as well as the SeaRose FPSO. Production remains suspended at the Terra Nova FPSO, where maintenance activities continue on safety and environmentally critical elements of the facility. Preliminary data indicates oil production from the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area was approximately 9.40 million barrels in March.
Drilling continues from Hibernia, Hebron and the West Aquarius mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU). On April 7, the C-NLOPB issued an Operations Authorization to Equinor for the Transocean Barents MODU to work in the Flemish Pass. It has arrived at location to undertake plugging and abandonment operations prior to drilling an exploratory well.
Operators of each of these facilities are submitting daily status reports for review by the C-NLOPB’s Chief Safety Officer, Chief Executive Officer and senior regulatory staff, who remain in constant contact with operators and governments and in frequent contact with regulators elsewhere in Canada and around the world.
Operators and the offshore workforce need to continue to follow and implement the direction, advice and guidance of the federal and Newfoundland and Labrador Chief Medical Officers, as the situation is dynamic and directions will continue to evolve.
The six formal investigations that were underway by the C-NLOPB prior to the declaration of the pandemic are continuing.
Announcements regarding next steps in the C-NLOPB’s scheduled land tenure processes will be made in the next few weeks, in consultation with governments.
We will continue to update our website and Twitter account as further information is available and as the situation changes in our Offshore Area.
Cell: (709) 725-2900
|July 21, 2020||Unauthorized Discharge from the Hibernia Platform|
|June 26, 2020||Near Miss on the Hebron Platform|
|June 19, 2020||Unauthorized Discharge from the SeaRose FPSO|
|June 1, 2020||Fire on Terra Nova FPSO|
|April 9, 2020||C-NLOPB Response to COVID-19 – April 9 Update|
|April 9, 2020||C-NLOPB Response to COVID-19 – March 24 Update|
|March 20, 2020||March 17, 2020 Update: Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board Response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)|