The Hibernia Management and Development (HMDC) has reported that a leak that occurred in December 2013, at one of two systems that are used to offload oil from the Hibernia platform, which resulted in a leakage of 6,000 litres of crude oil.

Hibernia is an oil field in the North Atlantic Ocean, about 315km east-southeast of St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, in 80m of water.

Initially, the company reported on a 10 litre oil spill on 18 December to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB).

The spill occurred as a result of a problem with a valve in the offloading system and no oil sheen was seen on the water.

HMDC reported also on 27 December that near the platform oil was again visible on the water’s surface due to a leak that occurred in the offloading system’s valve.

In an e-mailed statement, HMDC spokeswoman Margot Bruce-O’Connell said that the operator is still looking into the oil spill cause.

"No oil sheen was seen on the water."

The oil leak reportedly stopped when the leaked valve was isolated.

Out of two offshore loading systems for hydrocarbons of Hibernia, one of them is working normally, and the platform is back to production as usual.

The board noted that a full investigation will be launched into the spill and the company will review the methods used by the operator to estimate the amount of oil that spilled.

The shareholders of HMDC include ExxonMobil Canada, Chevron Canada Resources, Suncor, Canada Hibernia Holding, Murphy Oil and Statoil Canada.

Image: Hibernia oil field location. Photo: courtesy of Tentotwo.