Charges laid against Suncor Energy

Source: The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has laid three charges against Suncor Energy Inc., Operator of the exploration drilling program at the Ballicatters M96-Z well located in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin on Exploration Licences 1092 and 1113, for alleged offences related to a spill of synthetic based mud (SBM) from the mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) Henry Goodrich operating in the Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area. SBM is a heavy, dense fluid used during drilling operations to lubricate the drill pipe and balance reservoir pressure.

The charges result from an investigation by C-NLOPB Conservation Officers following a report of a spill of 26,400 litres of SBM into the ocean on Monday, March 28, 2011 from the drilling rig. The Operator is charged with causing or permitting a spill into the Offshore Area, failure to ensure that drilling fluids were stored and handled in a manner that would have prevented pollution, and failure to ensure that drilling fluids were handled in a way that did not create a hazard to safety or the environment.

The C-NLOPB is the independent joint agency of the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador responsible for the regulatory oversight of petroleum activities in the Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area, including; health and safety for offshore workers, protection of the environment during offshore petroleum activities, 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.

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