Hibernia Management and Development Company (HMDC) pled guilty to one charge of failing to cease work causing pollution related to the 2019 spill, whilst the other charges were withdrawn, in accordance with HMDC announcement.

There was a discharge on July 17, 2019 of approximately 12,000 litres of a crude oil and water mix from the Hibernia Platform into the Atlantic Ocean.

HMDC is the operator of the Hibernia offshore oil project in the Hibernia Commercial Discovery Area, which is a place in or above the continental shelf of Canada in the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore area, and the site of the Hibernia Platform.

The discharge was reported to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) federal and provincial authority by HMDC.

In accordance with a press release of C-NLOPB regulator, “the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) announced that Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) has pled guilty to a charge stemming from an unauthorized discharge of petroleum that occurred on July 17, 2019 from the Hibernia Platform in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area.”

As it is furthermore noted in the release, a fine of $90,000 was imposed under the Accord Act. In addition, HMDC was ordered to pay $310,000 into the Environmental Damages Fund.

C-NLOPB officers conducted a thorough investigation of the July 17, 2019 event. As Hibernia Management and Development Company reports “based on the facts obtained in the course of the investigation, the charges before this court were laid against HMDC on July 4, 2022.”

The Hibernia Platform was in production until early in the afternoon on July 17, 2019.

As the company reports, “at 17:13, upon observing crude oil in the Platform’s ballast water tank, the Hibernia Platform commenced a controlled shutdown to cease production activities to enable further troubleshooting activities.”

HMDC carried out a full Tier 1 and Tier 2 oil spill response operation, notes the company.

“HMDC undertook extensive clean-up efforts, mobilized wildlife observers and sheen monitoring, coordinated and communicated with fishers to avoid the area of the sheen clean-up operations, and successfully completed the clean up to a point where there was no detectable trace of hydrocarbons in the area.”

The company issued a statement mentioning that “deeply regrets this incident occurred. We have taken actions to address the lessons learned from the incident. Our Hibernia workforce remains committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner.”