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Canadian Hibernia Platform Restarts Production After Oil Spill

Crude oil production at the Hibernia platform offshore Canada’s northeast Atlantic coast resumed on Thursday after a month-long hiatus following an oil spill in the middle of July, Exxon—the largest shareholder of the company operating the platform—said today.

Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd (HMDC) restarted oil production at the Hibernia platform—which has the capacity to pump 220,000 bpd—“after conducting a thorough inspection to ensure the safety and security of the platform,” the company said.

Oil production at the Hibernia was shut in on July 17 as a safety measure after oil and water were discharged into the sea from a storage cell in the gravity base, the company said.

After the incident, HMDC said that based on aerial surveillance, the estimated volume of oil spilled from the Hibernia platform was 75 barrels of oil, equivalent to some 12,000 liters.

Last Friday, HMDC said that it continued activities before returning to production, and today operations resumed at reduced rates.

“We are following a deliberate, staged return to production operations, and carrying out surveillance of the facility throughout the process,” Scott Sandlin, president of HMDC, said in today’s statement.

“We have the safety of our people and protection of the environment foremost on our minds as we gradually bring production back on line,” Sandlin added.  

The Hibernia platform, located some 315 kilometers (196 miles) east of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, has been producing oil since November 1997 at a production rate at 220,000 bpd.

With a stake of 33.125 percent, ExxonMobil Canada is the single largest shareholder of the HMDC company which operates the Hibernia platform. Chevron’s Canadian subsidiary, Chevron Canada Resources, holds 26.875 percent, Suncor owns 20 percent, Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation has an 8.5-percent stake, Murphy Oil holds a 6.5-percent interest, and Equinor Canada Ltd owns the remaining 5 percent.     

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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