ExxonMobil halts production at Hibernia following oil spill
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ExxonMobil halts production at Hibernia following oil spill

21 Aug 2019 (Last Updated July 8th, 2020 11:57)

ExxonMobil has suspended production from the Hibernia oil platform, offshore Newfoundland, Canada, following another oil spill.

ExxonMobil halts production at Hibernia following oil spill
According to ExxonMobil, around 14 barrels of oil leaked into the ocean. Credit: Office of Response and Restoration.

ExxonMobil has suspended production from the Hibernia oil platform, offshore Newfoundland, Canada, following another oil spill.

This is the second oil spill in a month as a temporary power outage led to the release of oil and water from the platform’s drain system.

The incident comes just days after Hibernia resumed production following a similar incident in July when the platform leaked nearly 75 barrels of oil into the North Atlantic Ocean.

The second spill released nearly 14 barrels of oil into the ocean, Reuters reported citing ExxonMobil’s statement. Following the incident, the company deployed vessels to clean up the spill. It is also using satellite images and surveillance flights to detect the presence of sheen.

Currently, wildlife observation and water sampling are underway to assess the impact of the leakage. However, the latest satellite images suggest no observable sheen, the Hibernia Management and Development Company said in a statement. This is due to natural weathering and collection efforts.

An investigation is also underway to determine the cause of the leak.

The Hibernia platform, standing 224m high, started producing oil in November 1997. It is located around 315km of St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, in 80m of water.

ExxonMobil Canada holds the largest stake (33.125%) in the project. Chevron Canada Resources (26.875%), Suncor (20%), Canada Hibernia Holding (8.5%), Murphy Oil (6.5%) and Equinor Canada (5%) are the other stakeholders.

The oil field, one of the largest to be discovered in Canada, comprises two principal reservoirs located at average depths of 3,700m and 2,400m.