April 25, 2005

Drilling mud release under investigation by offshore board

ST JOHN'S NFLD-The Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NOPB) is investigating a release into the sea of approximately four cubic metres (26 barrels) of a synthetic-based drilling mud from the drill rig GSF Grand Banks. The incident, which occurred on April 4 just before 4:00 a.m., was reported to Newfoundland and Labrador Natural Resources Minister Ed Byrne. "Government views the release of any material into the ocean seriously," Byrne said. "At this stage, I expect the C-NOPB as the lead agency to complete its review and report back on the cause of the release and any mitigation measures to be undertaken. We are actively monitoring the situation and will offer further comment once the Board has conducted its review." The C-NOPB's Chief Conservation Officer (CCO) has confirmed the suspension of drilling operations on the rig. The CCO's approval is required before drilling can resume. The GSF Grand Banks is under contract to Husky Energy in the White Rose field. More information is available on the C-NOPB Web site, www.cnopb.nf.ca.

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