A spill of 4.02 cubic meters (26 barrels) of synthetic-based drilling mud (SBM) from the semisub, GSF Grand Banks, was reported to the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board just before 4 a.m. this morning April 4, 2005. The rig is currently drilling for Husky Energy on the White Rose field, some 300 kilometers east of St. John's in the Newfoundland & Labrador offshore area.
The SBM was released at the ocean surface. SBM is a fluid used in the drilling process and made up of a variety of components primarily food-grade synthetic oil, water and barite.
Upon notification of the incident, the C-NOPB's Chief Conservation Officer (CCO) confirmed drilling operations on the rig were suspended. Approval from the CCO is required before drilling operations can resume at the GSF Grand Banks.
The Board and the operator are reviewing the incident to confirm the cause of the SBM release and to identify possible mitigation measures to prevent a recurrence.
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