July 11, 2018 1:26 pm
Updated: July 11, 2018 1:34 pm

Investigation continues into major mud spill off N.S. coast, drilling remains suspended

BP Canada has been given the green light to restart drilling operations off the coast of Nova Scotia

Facebook / West Aquarius Bulletin Board

The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) says the investigation into what caused a major mud spill off the coast of Nova Scotia last month remains ongoing.

READ MORE: Spill of 136,000 litres of drilling mud reported off Nova Scotia coast

A spill of 136,000 litres of synthetic-based drilling mud from BP Canada’s West Aquarius Drilling Unit was reported off the coast of Nova Scotia on June 22.

Drilling was stopped immediately following the spill and it remains suspended, according to CNSOPB.

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The preliminary investigation indicated that the spill was from piping that forms part of the mud system approximately 30 metres below sea level.

READ MORE: Drilling remains suspended following major mud spill off N.S. coast

At the time of the spill, West Aquarius was located about 330 kilometres off the coast of Halifax.

In a news bulletin Wednesday afternoon, CNSOPB said BP Canada has advised that as a precautionary measure to Hurricane Chris, they have disconnected and moved the West Aquarius drilling unit away from its exploratory well location.

“All operators continue to monitor forecasted weather and sea-state conditions and are implementing precautionary measures as required,” the release reads.

READ MORE: Assembly of Mi’kmaq Chiefs ‘extremely concerned’ with mud spill off N.S. coast

Synthetic-based mud is a heavy, dense fluid used during drilling to lubricate the drill pipe and overbalance reservoir pressure.

The timeline for how long the investigation will take into the mud spill remains unclear.

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