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Hibernia offshore oil production halted after apparent spill of drilling fluids

The Hibernia platform stands above the waters of Bull Arm, Trinity Bay, Nfld. in a 1997 file photo. Production at the Hibernia offshore production platform 315 kilometres east of St. John’s, N.L., has been halted after an apparent leak of drilling and productions fluids.
The Hibernia platform stands above the waters of Bull Arm, Trinity Bay, Nfld. in a 1997 file photo. Production at the Hibernia offshore production platform 315 kilometres east of St. John’s, N.L., has been halted after an apparent leak of drilling and productions fluids. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Production at the Hibernia offshore production platform 315 kilometres east of St. John’s, N.L., has been halted after an apparent spill of drilling and production fluids.

In a post on its website, the Hibernia management company says a sheen was observed in the water about 2.5 kilometres from the platform.

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The company says water sampling late Sunday during well flowback operations indicated an “exceedance” on the produced water discharge and production was immediately shut down.

It says airborne observations on Monday could not confirm the sheen but a vessel dispatched to check it out reported a light sheen. It says there have been no observed impacts on wildlife and personnel are safe.

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Hibernia was shut down for a month last year after a release of oil and water from its drain system in August.

The project, which has peak production capacity of about 220,000 barrels of oil a day, is owned by ExxonMobil Canada, Chevron Canada Resources, Suncor Energy Inc., Canada Hibernia Holding Corp., Murphy Oil and Equinor Canada Ltd.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2020.