Suncor Energy reported on April 27, 2018 an unauthorized discharge of synthetic based mud (SBM) from the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) Transocean Barents. Suncor estimates that 28,000 litres of SBM was released to the environment. The Safety, Environment and Operations Departments of the C-NLOPB have been monitoring the situation since first notified. The Canadian Coast Guard was notified on April 27, 2018.
There were no injuries and there have been no impacts observed on marine life in the area. The well is in a safe state and drilling operations remain suspended, as Suncor investigates the cause of the discharge. Drilling operations will not resume until it is safe to do so and until Suncor has received approval from the C-NLOPB.
The C-NLOPB Chief Conservation Officer and other staff have met with senior Suncor representatives. The C-NLOPB’s regulatory oversight includes reviewing Suncor’s investigation and response. This will inform any further action by the Board.
Synthetic based mud is a heavy, dense fluid used during drilling operations to lubricate the drill pipe and overbalance reservoir pressure. Because of its weight, the mud sinks rapidly in the water column and rests on the sea floor. The synthetic based oil used in SBM is a food-grade oil of low toxicity. Because of this, effects of SBM spills typically are limited to within tens of meters of a well site and are associated with physical smothering due to seabed coverage by the mud.
The Transocean Barents is currently located in the Terra Nova Field, approximately 350 km southeast from St. John’s.
Suncor Energy Media Line
|Dec 10, 2018||Update – Status of Spill at White Rose Field|
|Dec 5, 2018||Update – Status of Other Offshore Facilities|
|Dec 3, 2018||Update – Spill at White Rose Field and Status of Other Offshore Facilities|
|Nov 29, 2018||High Potential Near Miss|
|Nov 23, 2018||Update – Spill at White Rose Field and Status of Other Offshore Facilities|
|Nov 22, 2018||Update – Spill at White Rose Field and Status of Other Offshore Facilities|
|Nov 21, 2018||Update – Spill at White Rose Field|
|Nov 20, 2018||Update – Spill at White Rose Field and Status of Other Offshore Facilities|
|Nov 18, 2018||Update – Spill in White Rose Field|
|Nov 16, 2018||Spill in White Rose Field|
|Nov 16, 2018||Smoke Detection|
|May 15, 2018||C-NLOPB Issues Notice of Non-Compliance to Suncor Energy and Commences Formal Investigation|
|May 3, 2018||Unauthorized Discharge of Synthetic Based Mud – Update|
|Apr 30, 2018||Unauthorized Discharge of Synthetic Based Mud|