Since the August spill, the C-NLOPB has had extensive engagement with HMDC, while an investigation report by HMDC identified root cause and causal factors of the spill. The report has been accepted by the C-NLOPB and includes a set of corrective actions.


The spill was caused by a power outage because of a faulty fuel valve actuator on Main Power Generator B, while Main Power Generator A was offline for maintenance. The power outage led to loss of instrument air pressure which then activated the firefighting water deluge system. The high water rate from the deluge system flooded the hazardous drains system and tank (HODT) resulting in overflow and discharge of hydrocarbons included in the HODT to the sea.

The conditions that are prerequisites to resumption of operations include necessary corrective actions that include procedural changes, training, Certifying Authority review and a Pre-start-up Management System Review.

What is more, the C-NLOPB required that the Certifying Authority carry out a detailed review of their Certificate of Fitness activities for the Hibernia platform, including a review of the status of the maintenance system for open corrective maintenance, maintenance and inspections as well as Certifying Authority observations.

In addition, the C-NLOPB has also completed a review of HMDC’s management system, plans for the HMDC Pre-start-up Management System Review and related risk assessments. The HMDC Pre-start-up Management System Review includes a detailed restart exercise, a review of the operational status of all systems and equipment, a review of maintenance systems, a review of personnel training and competency, and the submission of a new Declaration of Fitness.

As a result, the C-NLOPB is satisfied with HMDC’s plan for restart and will be resuming oversight meetings with HMDC to monitor progress on corrective actions after the July 17 and August 17 spill incidents. The investigations into the two recent spills up to this point show that there is no connection between the two spills.

Based on our due diligence and review of HMDC’s people, processes and equipment, I am confident that the restart of Hibernia operations can be done safely and environmentally responsibly

noted Paul Alexander, the C-NLOPB’s Chief Safety Officer.

Now, the C-NLOPB continues its investigations into the following five incidents:

  1. The April 2018 discharge of synthetic-based mud from the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Transocean Barents;
  2. The November 2018 spill by Husky Energy at the White Rose Field;
  3. The July 2019 spill at the Hibernia platform;
  4. The August 2019 spill at the Hibernia platform;
  5. The September 2019 incident on the Transocean Barents, which left one worker injured.

The injured worker has been released from hospital, while operations on the Transocean Barents remain suspended.