CNOPB Investigates Spill from Drilling Rig

The Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board is investigating a spill of 96.6 cubic meters of synthetic-based drilling mud (SBM) that occurred before midnight, October 21, 2004 during operations on the GSF Grand Banks. 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 synthetic oil, water and barite.

Upon notification of the incident, the C-NOPB's Chief Conservation Officer (CCO) immediately ordered drilling operations on the rig to be suspended pending results of the initial review. Information immediately available regarding the spill indicated that operations could safely be resumed and that resuming operations would not impede any investigation. The order to suspend operations has subsequently been lifted.

Husky Energy has been notified that the Board has commenced a formal investigation of the events relating to the spill in accordance with the Conservation and Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Policy under the Accord Acts.