July 25, 2019 12:13 pm

Hibernia platform still shut down as work continues to clean up oil spill

A tug positions itself near the base of the Hibernia platform in Bull Arm, Trinity Bay, Nfld., on May 22, 1997. Efforts continue off Newfoundland's east coast to monitor and clean up oil remaining from the estimated 12,000 litres that spilled from the Hibernia platform last week.

A tug positions itself near the base of the Hibernia platform in Bull Arm, Trinity Bay, Nfld., on May 22, 1997. Efforts continue off Newfoundland's east coast to monitor and clean up oil remaining from the estimated 12,000 litres that spilled from the Hibernia platform last week.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
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Efforts continue off Newfoundland’s east coast to monitor and clean up oil remaining from the estimated 12,000 litres that spilled from the Hibernia platform last week.

The sheen of oil, first spotted on July 17, had broken into two separate sections by Wednesday.

The remaining volume is estimated at 1,070 litres, according to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.

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In a Twitter post Wednesday, the board said some of the oil spilled last week has been mechanically recovered, some has evaporated and some has dispersed into the water column.

Four oiled seabirds have been reported by the Hibernia Management and Development Company.

Production remains shut down at the platform, which is owned by a consortium of oil companies, the largest being ExxonMobil.

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The company said last week that it has been mechanically dispersing the mix of oil and water and using absorbent booms to soak up oil from the ocean surface.

The spill follows a Husky Energy spill of 250,000 litres of oil into the ocean last November, the largest in the history of the province’s offshore oil and gas industry.

The regulatory board said Sunday that it will formally investigate the Hibernia incident, as it continues to investigate last November’s Husky spill.

Siobhan Coady, the province’s natural resources minister, called the spill “unacceptable” during question period in the House of Assembly on Tuesday.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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