Incident Bulletins

Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board Incident Reporting Guidelines

 

In the event of an offshore incident, the Board is notified by the affected operator immediately. The Board has created guidelines to determine when to publicly post bulletins regarding these incidents. Such incidents will be posted on this page as soon as it is feasible to do so.

The following incidents would be reviewed and would most likely trigger the Board to publish an incident bulletin:

Health and safety concerns:
  • Fatality, missing person or life-threatening work-related incident
  • Medical evacuation if linked to an incident
  • The emergency evacuation or precautionary down-manning of an installation
  • Significant damage to or loss of any installation, vessel or aircraft
  • A fire or explosion
  • A security event or threat (as situation permits)
  • Instances where a helicopter makes an unscheduled landing in a location other than those included in its flight plan.
     
Environmental and resource conservation concerns:
  • Loss of well control
  • A spill to the ocean measuring 1m3 or larger
  • Any hydrocarbon spill that is detected or being tracked by the Environment Canada Integrated Satellite Tracking of Pollution (ISTOP) program or the Transport Canada National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP)
Other incidents at the Board’s discretion

 

June 27, 2016

Injured Worker Medevac

Shell Canada Limited has notified the CNSOPB that a worker was flown from the Stena IceMAX to Halifax for medical treatment Sunday morning (June 26th) after sustaining a finger injury.

Media Contact:

Shell Canada Media Relations:
media-desk@shell.com
1-877-850-5023

CNSOPB Contact:
Kathleen Funke
902-496-0750
kfunke@cnsopb.ns.ca

 

Incident Update – Shell Operational Update - Resumption of drilling with conditions

June 22, 2016  

HALIFAX – The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) today permitted Shell Canada to resume drilling with restrictions at its Cheshire L-97 exploration well.

Drilling was halted on March 5th after an operations incident on the Stena IceMAX drillship. After securing the exploration well with two barriers and successfully disconnecting to ride out heavy weather, the riser was accidentally dropped to the seafloor. 

No one was injured and no well fluids or synthetic oil-based drilling fluids were spilled to the environment.

The CNSOPB review confirmed that the crew of the Stena IceMAX appropriately prepared for heavy weather in the days leading up to the incident on March 5th by suspending drilling, installing two barriers to secure the well (a downhole plug and the closing of the Blowout Preventer, BOP), and displacing drilling fluids in the riser to sea water. When vessel motion exceeded the operational limits, the decision was made to disconnect and ride out the weather with the riser attached to the vessel through the tensioner riser system, a standard procedure. To maximize the distance between the bottom of the riser and the BOP so as to protect the integrity of the well, the tensioner system holding the riser was fully retracted. 

The key factors in the cause of the incident were the heave of the vessel and the inability of the riser tensioner system to compensate for the difference in the movement between the riser and the vessel with the tensioner system in a fully retracted position and with the Riser Anti-Recoil System (RARS) inactive. 

Until such time as the CNSOPB completes further reviews, Shell Canada is required to lower its well disconnect criteria on the Stena IceMax based on vessel heave of five metres. The previous criteria was eight metres.

A news release providing addition details is available on this website under News Releases.

For full details view the CNSOPB Review Report Summary.

For further information, contact:

Colleen Menard
CNSOPB
902-422-5588

Shell Canada Media Relations:
media-desk@shell.com
1-877-850-5023

 

June 10, 2016

Incident Update - Shell Operational Incident

The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) advises that Shell Canada Limited (Shell Canada) is taking further steps in its drilling readiness work. Shell Canada continues to conduct tests of equipment on the IceMAX, and is now gearing up to deploy and test the new riser system.

Through these tests, Shell Canada must confirm that the new riser system can successfully connect to and disconnect from the blowout preventer, and must also test the interface between the riser system and blowout preventer.  This is one of a series of critical steps in demonstrating that drilling could resume safely.

Such equipment testing is being conducted while regulatory reviews into the incident continue. Approval to resume drilling has not been granted. Such approval will not be given until Shell Canada has demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the CNSOPB, that drilling can proceed safely.  The CNSOPB is unable to provide a timeline for regulatory decisions on returning to drilling or with respect to the riser that remains on the seafloor.  More information on the outcomes of the incident investigation, and with respect to the riser, will be provided at the time that regulatory reviews have been completed and associated decisions are made.

For further information, please contact:

Shell Canada Media Relations:
media-desk@shell.com
1-877-850-5023

CNSOPB:
Kathleen Funke
Advisor, Communications
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
902-496-0750
kfunke@cnsopb.ns.ca

 

June 6, 2016

Update – Shell Canada Operational Incident.

The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) has been advised that, following a site survey by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), Shell Canada Limited (Shell Canada) has successfully retrieved six buoyancy modules from the riser that was accidently dropped to the seafloor on March 5, 2016. These six buoyancy modules had been identified as having a low risk  of dislodging from the riser based on a previous survey. Regardless, the modules were removed as a precaution. Shell Canada has confirmed that the remainder of the buoyancy modules are secure.

The Stena IceMAX drillship remains at the Cheshire well site while drilling readiness work and regulatory reviews continue.  As of this time, the CNSOPB has not granted Shell Canada approval to resume drilling.  Prior to such approval being granted, Shell Canada must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the CNSOPB that drilling operations can be carried out safely, taking into account the outcomes of the investigation into the cause of the incident.  The CNSOPB is unable to provide a timeline for regulatory decisions on returning to drilling or with respect to the riser and attached buoyancy modules that remain on the seafloor.  More information on the outcomes of the incident investigation and with respect to the riser will be provided at the time that regulatory reviews have been completed and associated decisions are made.

The CNSOPB will release more situational updates as information becomes available.

For further information, please contact:

Shell Canada Media Relations:
media-desk@shell.com
1-877-850-5023

CNSOPB:
Kathleen Funke
Advisor, Communications
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
902-496-0750
kfunke@cnsopb.ns.ca

 

May 25, 2016
 
Update – Shell Canada Operational Incident
 

The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) has been advised by Shell Canada Ltd. (Shell Canada) that the Stena IceMAX drillship will be moving from its current location near Jeddore Harbour to the Cheshire well site this evening. The vessel is expected to arrive at the Cheshire well site the morning of Thursday, May 26th.Shell Canada then plans to undertake site survey work using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in preparation for a potential return to drilling.
 
As of this time, the CNSOPB has not granted approval to resume drilling. Such approval will only be provided if Shell Canada is able to satisfy the CNSOPB that operations can resume safely. Furthermore, no decisions have yet been made with respect to the riser that remains on the seafloor. 
 
The investigation into the dropped riser incident continues. The CNSOPB is unable to provide a timeline for the completion of the investigation, for decisions on returning to drill, or for decisions with respect to the dropped riser as further regulatory review is required in each case.  More information on the incident investigation and decisions with respect to the riser will be released when such decisions are made. The CNSOPB will release more situational updates as information becomes available.
 
For further information, please contact:
 
Shell Canada Media Relations:
media-desk@shell.com
1-877-850-5023
 
CNSOPB:
Kathleen Funke
Advisor, Communications
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
902-496-0750
kfunke@cnsopb.ns.ca

 

May 13, 2016

Update – Shell Canada Operational Incident
 
The investigation into Shell Canada’s March 5th dropped riser incident continues. The Stena IceMAX remains stationed closer to shore. The CNSOPB has not granted approval to resume drilling activity. Such approval will only be provided once Shell Canada is able to satisfy the CNSOPB that operations can resume safely. The CNSOPB is unable to provide a timeline for the completion of the investigation, for decisions on returning to drill, or for decisions with respect to the riser on the seafloor as further regulatory review is required in each case. 

Previous inspections by remote operated vehicles dispatched to the ocean floor have confirmed that the dropped riser does not pose a threat to the blowout preventer or wellhead.
 
CNSOPB technical staff, including the Chief Safety Officer, have made visits to the Stena IceMAX since the incident, and will continue to do so. In addition, scheduled weekly meetings and ongoing dialogue between Shell Canada and the CNSOPB allows the CNSOPB to ensure that the appropriate steps are being taken. 
 
More information on the incident investigation and decisions with respect to the riser will be released when such decisions are made. The CNSOPB will release more situational updates as information becomes available.

For further information, please contact:

Shell Canada Media Relations:
media-desk@shell.com
1-877-850-5023

CNSOPB:
Kathleen Funke
Advisor, Communications
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
902-496-0750
kfunke@cnsopb.ns.ca

 

March 19, 2016
 
Shell Canada Ltd. Operational Incident (Dropped Riser) – Update
 
Shell Canada has advised the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) that they have ceased efforts to recover buoyancy modules that surfaced after the March 5th riser incident.  Shell had previously notified the Canadian Coast Guard who then issued a Notice to Shipping that nine (9) buoyancy modules were adrift. One piece has been recovered.
 
Shell’s efforts to recover the modules were disrupted by adverse weather.  The search area has increased over time to the point that Shell is concerned about placing search and retrieval teams at unnecessary risk given the low probability of locating and then retrieving the remaining modules.
 
As reported in an update posted by the CNSOPB on Tuesday, March 15, the Stena IceMAX has repositioned to a location closer to shore to better facilitate access to the vessel for staff and supplies.
 
No determination has yet been made with respect to recovery of the riser. The riser remains on the sea bed and does not pose a hazard to the blowout preventer or wellhead.

The well remains properly isolated. The well has a downhole plug in place (the primary barrier), and the blowout preventer remains closed (a secondary barrier). Shell has conducted inspections of the area with a remotely operated vehicle and has confirmed that there was no damage to the blowout preventer or the wellhead as a result of the dropped riser incident, and that the well remains secure.
 
Drilling operations remain suspended.
 
For further information, please contact:

Shell Canada Media Relations:
media-desk@shell.com
1-877-850-5023

CNSOPB:
Kathleen Funke
Advisor, Communications
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
902-496-0750
kfunke@cnsopb.ns.ca
 

March 15, 2016

Shell Canada Ltd. Operational Incident (Dropped Riser) - Update
 
The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) is continuing to monitor Shell Canada Ltd.’s response to the dropped riser incident that occurred on March 5, 2016 on the Stena IceMAX. 

Drilling operations remain suspended while repairs to equipment are being carried out, and while an investigation into the cause of the incident is being conducted.  Drilling will not resume until necessary repairs have been completed, and until Shell has demonstrated that drilling operations can proceed safely, to the satisfaction of the CNSOPB.

Shell has advised today that the Stena IceMAX is being repositioned to a location closer to shore to better facilitate access to the vessel for staff and supplies while equipment repairs are being carried out.

For further information, please contact:

Shell Canada Media Relations:
media-desk@shell.com
1-877-850-5023

CNSOPB:
Kathleen Funke
Advisor, Communications
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
902-496-0750
kfunke@cnsopb.ns.ca

 

March 7, 2016

On Saturday, March 5, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board was notified of an Operational Incident on the Stena IceMAX drill ship.

Shell Canada Limited has advised the following:

On Saturday, March 5, the rig drilling Shell Canada Limited’s Cheshire exploration well 225 km offshore Nova Scotia successfully disconnected from the well in advance of severe weather. Precautionary procedures were taken and completed prior to the severe weather, including isolating the well using the blowout preventer (BOP) system. Shortly after the rig moved away from the well location, high waves and heave caused the riser tensioner system to release, resulting in the riser and lower marine riser package, which connect the rig to the well during drilling, to fall to the seabed. A survey of the BOP using a remotely-operated vehicle confirmed that the BOP is intact and in good condition.
 
There were no injuries, and the content of the riser had already been replaced with seawater so there was no loss of drilling fluid. The Canada–Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) and Canadian Coast Guard were notified promptly of the incident.
 
Shell and the rig operator Stena will be undertaking an investigation to understand the contributing causes of the event and will continue to share information with the CNSOPB.

CNSOPB personnel are being dispatched to the drill ship as part of its review of this incident.

For further information, please contact:

Shell Canada Media Relations:
media-desk@shell.com
1-877-850-5023

CNSOPB:
Kathleen Funke
Advisor, Communications
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
902-496-0750
kfunke@cnsopb.ns.ca

 

March 17, 2015

On Monday, March 16th, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board was notified of a small fire incident on the Deep Panuke Platform operated by Encana Corporation.

At approximately 8 A.M., a worker noticed a 6” flame on a cooling pump bearing on the utility module. The pump was shut down and another worker extinguished the flame with a handheld fire extinguisher. The flame was not large enough to trigger the fire suppression system. 

No personnel were injured in this incident and the platform was not shut in. This incident did not trigger further emergency response procedures. An investigation into the nature of the incident is underway. 

For further information, please contact:

Encana Corporation:
Jay Averill
jay.averill@encana.com
403-645-4747

CNSOPB:
Kathleen Funke
Advisor, Communications
Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
902-496-0750
kfunke@cnsopb.ns.ca

 

Monday, August 4th, 2014

The Canada-Nova Scotia Board was informed yesterday afternoon (Sunday, August 3rd) of a small transformer fire within a contained room on the Deep Panuke production platform. It was successfully extinguished by the fire suppression system. There was no reported harm to personnel or the environment in relation to this incident. The cause of the incident is under investigation. Production from the platform is currently shut-in.‎

Media Contacts
Encana Corporation:
Jay Averill
jay.averill@encana.com
403-645-4747

CNSOPB:
Kathleen Funke
kfunke@cnsopb.ns.ca
Office: 902-496-0750
Cell: 902-817-4461

 

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board was informed yesterday (Friday, March 7th) of a hydrocarbon spill from the Deep Panuke Production Field Centre. It created a sheen that was visible on the ocean surface.

Volume of the spill is currently not known. A Transport Canada air surveillance flight was conducted yesterday and, at the time of its flyover, it was reported that the sheen was consistent with that of a light hydrocarbon and that the volume was approximately 137 litres.

The suspected hydrocarbon source has reportedly been isolated, and there is no ongoing spill. Transport Canada conducted further aerial surveillance today (3 passes) and detected no further evidence of a sheen.

Board staff have been monitoring the situation to confirm that Encana's actions in response to this spill are appropriate. Board staff will be onsite at the Production Field Centre tomorrow (Sunday, March 9th) to perform an inspection.

For more information:
Kathleen Funke
kfunke@cnsopb.ns.ca
Office: 902-496-0750
Cell: 902-817-4461