The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has laid four charges against the consortium behind the Hibernia field after an oil spill.
The charges were made against the Hibernia Management and Development Company (HMDC) for alleged offences related to the spilling of crude oil from the offshore loading system of the Hibernia platform.
Based on the information obtained during the investigation process, C-NLOPB Conservation Officers have alleged that HMDC caused or permitted crude oil to be spilled into the offshore area, failed to take all reasonable measures to prevent a further spill, and restarted work that had been suspended because of a spill, while that spill was ongoing. C-NLOPB Conservation Officers also alleged that HMDC failed to fully report the particulars in the manner required by the applicable regulations.
The C-NLOPB said: "As this matter is now before the courts, the C-NLOPB will not be commenting further at this time."
The C-NLOPB is the independent joint agency of the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador responsible for the regulatory oversight of petroleum-related activities in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area, including; health and safety for offshore workers, protection of the environment, management and conservation of offshore petroleum resources, compliance with the provisions of the Accord Acts that deal with Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador employment and industrial benefits, issuance of licences for offshore exploration and development, and resource evaluation, data collection, curation and distribution.
The 224m high Hibernia platform was towed to the Hibernia oil field and positioned on the ocean floor in June 1997 and started producing oil on 17 November 1997.
The shareholders of HMDC are: ExxonMobil Canada (33.125%), Chevron Canada Resources (26.875%), Suncor (20%), Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation (8.5%), Murphy Oil (6.5%) and Statoil Canada (5%).