The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has approved Hibernia Management and Development Company’s (HMDC’s) plan to resume drilling and production at the Hibernia platform, subject to conditions, following the suspension of operations after a second spill on August 17, 2019.
Since the August spill, the C-NLOPB has had extensive engagement with HMDC. A comprehensive investigation report by HMDC identifying root cause and causal factors of the spill has been accepted by the C-NLOPB and includes a suite of corrective actions. The spill was determined to have been triggered by a power outage due to a faulty fuel valve actuator on Main Power Generator B, while Main Power Generator A was offline for maintenance. The power outage resulted in a loss of instrument air pressure which led to a subsequent activation of the firefighting water deluge system. The high water rate from the deluge system flooded the hazardous drains system and tank (HODT) resulting in overflow and discharge of hydrocarbons contained in the HODT to the sea.
The conditions that are prerequisites to resumption of operations encompass required corrective actions that include procedural changes, training, Certifying Authority review and a Pre-start-up Management System Review. In addition, the C-NLOPB required that the Certifying Authority conduct a detailed review of their Certificate of Fitness activities for the Hibernia platform, including a review of the status of the maintenance system for open corrective maintenance, maintenance and inspections as well as Certifying Authority observations.
The C-NLOPB has completed an extensive review of HMDC’s management system, plans for the HMDC Pre-start-up Management System Review and associated risk assessments. The HMDC Pre-start-up Management System Review includes a detailed restart exercise, a review of the operational status of all systems and equipment, a review of maintenance systems, a review of personnel training and competency, and the submission of a new Declaration of Fitness.
The C-NLOPB is thereby satisfied with HMDC’s plan for restart and will be continuing enhanced oversight meetings with HMDC to monitor progress on corrective actions following from the July 17 and August 17 spill incidents. The investigations into the two recent spills up to this point indicate no connection between the two spills.
“Based on our due diligence and review of HMDC’s people, processes and equipment, I am confident that the restart of Hibernia operations can be done safely and environmentally responsibly,” said Paul Alexander, the C-NLOPB’s Chief Safety Officer.
The C-NLOPB continues its formal investigations into the following five incidents:
The injured worker has been released from hospital. Operations on the Transocean Barents remain suspended.
Decisions on enforcement actions will only follow the completion of each investigation under the Atlantic Accord Implementation Acts. The C-NLOPB will report publicly as each of these investigations is completed.
Regulatory Oversight and Industry Performance
On August 30, senior officials of the C-NLOPB attended a meeting held by Natural Resources Canada and the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Natural Resources to discuss recent incidents, steps the C-NLOPB has initiated to enhance regulatory oversight, and ways to drive enhanced industry performance through the legislative/regulatory regime. Some of the key actions arising from the meeting include:
|December 30, 2019||Injured Worker on Terra Nova FPSO|
|November 25, 2019||Helicopter Return to Base|
|October 15, 2019||Near Miss on Terra Nova FPSO|
|October 3, 2019||C-NLOPB approves resumption of drilling operations on Transocean Barents|
|September 26, 2019||Approval of plans to resume operations at Hibernia and update on follow up to recent offshore incidents|
|September 9, 2019||Injured Worker on Transocean Barents|
|August 21, 2019||C-NLOPB Update on August 17, 2019 Discharge at the Hibernia Platform|
|August 18, 2019||C-NLOPB Update on August 17, 2019 Discharge at the Hibernia Platform|
|August 16, 2019||C-NLOPB approves re-start of production operations from final two drill centres at White Rose field|
|August 15, 2019||C-NLOPB approves resumption of production operations at Hibernia Platform|
|August 1, 2019||Update – Hibernia Oil Spill|
|July 18, 2019||Hibernia Oil Spill|
|July 9, 2019||Incident Bulletin – Near Miss with Potential for Fatality on Terra Nova FPSO|
|July 5, 2019||Update – Follow-up to November 2018 Oil Spill at White Rose Field|
|June 4, 2019||Near Miss on Hibernia Platform|
|May 24, 2019||Flushing – South White Rose Extension Drill Centre|
|March 19, 2019||Update on Plugging of Flowline and Recovery of Flowline Connector at the South White Rose Extension Drill Centre|
|March 14, 2019||Near Miss Onboard Terra Nova FPSO|
|March 13, 2019||Update on Plugging of Flowline and Recovery of Flowline Connector at the South White Rose Extension Drill Centre|
|January 30, 2019||C-NLOPB Issues Approvals to Husky Energy|
|January 18, 2019||Update – Status of Spill at White Rose Field|
|January 11, 2019||Update – Status of Spill at White Rose Field|
|January 7, 2019||Update – Status of Spill at White Rose Field|