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March 17, 1999
(Mines and Energy)

The following is being distributed at the request of Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board:

Hibernia authorized to resume oil production

The Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board today (March 17) authorized the resumption of oil production on the Hibernia platform.

The board's decision follows the removal by the platform's Certifying Authority, Lloyd's Register of Shipping, of the limitation on the Certification of Fitness which had been imposed while investigations were continuing into the March 11 shut-down incident. The thorough investigating and testing procedures have now been completed, and the assessment of both Lloyd's and the C-NOPB is that production may be resumed.

Drilling and water injection operations had already been approved to resume.

Hal Stanley, Chairman of the C-NOPB, says that the decisions of the board in both suspending and reinstating operating approvals are based primarily on concerns for the safety of personnel and the protection of the environment. The board is satisfied that in the current situation, the integrity of the Hibernia safety and environmental protection systems and procedures has not been compromised.

Media contact: Hal Stanley, Chairman, Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, (709) 778-1456.

1999 03 17 3:30 p.m.

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