Canadian offshore petroleum regulator has fined oil company Suncor Energy and rig provider Transocean over an unauthorized fluid discharge from the Transocean Barents rig back in 2018.

Transocean Barents rig
Transocean Barents rig; Source: Transocean

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) said on Thursday it had applied Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) of $40,000 to Suncor Energy and $52,000 to Transocean in response to an unauthorized discharge of Enviromul with Puredrill IA-35LV from the Transocean Barents on 27 April 2018.

The C-NLOPB launched the investigation into the discharge of 28,000 litres of synthetic-based mud (SBM) in May 2018. The incident was not the result of equipment failure.

According to the regulator, the spill was a breach by Suncor (the operator) and Transocean (the drilling contractor) of their obligations under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act (the Accord Act), and a violation calculated under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations.

At the time of the incident, the rig was located at the Terra Nova field, some 350 kilometers southeast from St. John’s.

The AMPs issued to Suncor and Transocean were Type B violations, which include violating safety or environmental requirements.

Penalty amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis. To date, there have been no observed impacts on marine life in the area, the regulator stated.

The original Notices of Violation for $64,000 were issued by C-NLOPB staff to both companies on 23 April 2020.

However, both companies filed a request for review. On conducting the reviews, a Review Committee of the Board determined that the penalties to be paid by both Suncor and Transocean would be revised to $40,000 and $52,000, respectively.

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