November 8, 2018 Incident Bulletin Update: High Potential Near Miss/Dropped Object

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The CNSOPB has completed its review of the high potential near miss incident that was reported by ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. (ExxonMobil) on November 5, 2018 ( and has determined that at the time of the incident, ExxonMobil was not in compliance with Section 25(a) of the Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Drilling and Production Regulations. 

“The operator shall ensure that all wells, installations, equipment and facilities are designed, constructed, tested, maintained and operated to prevent incidents and waste under the maximum load conditions that may be reasonably anticipated during any operation.”

Specifically, equipment used in a lifting operation that took place on the Noble Regina Allen drilling unit under contract to ExxonMobil was not maintained and operated in a manner that prevented the incident. 

The CNSOPB determined that this violation should be subject to an administrative monetary penalty (AMP) of $40,000. A Notice of Violation (NOV) was issued to ExxonMobil on July 12, 2019.  The AMP was paid by ExxonMobil on August 12, 2019.

This incident prompted the CNSOPB to publish a Safety Notice on November 30, 2018.  The post incident inspection identified a number of issues in addition to those raised by the Operator.  The CNSOPB undertook significant effort to ensure that effective corrective actions were developed and implemented by the Operator to address the root causes and to prevent a similar occurrence including the use of a different type of lifting arrangement. These included enhanced quarantine practices for loose lifting gear, additional training on safe lifting practices, and a number of other measures which strengthened the overall safety management system.  

In the interest of greater public transparency around the issuance of AMPs, the CNSOPB has posted the NOV document here.

To learn more about Administrative Monetary Penalties and the process click here.

Media Contacts:

Stacy O’Rourke

ExxonMobil Canada Ltd.
Merle MacIsaac
902- 490-9741