Calgary-based Cenovus will appear before a court in Canada next month to face three charges related to an oil spill offshore Newfoundland & Labrador three years ago.

In November 2018, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB), which regulates upstream marine activities in the province, reported that 250 cubic metres of oil were spilled at the White Rose field that was then operated by Husky Energy.

The CNLOPB has now laid three charges against Cenovus subsidiary, Husky Oil Operations Limited (Husky Oil), for alleged offences related to this oil pollution incident.

Two of the three charges relate to contraventions of the Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Drilling & Production Regulations, with CNLOPB conservation officers alleging that Husky Oil did not ensure that work or activity likely to cause pollution ceased without delay and, having ceased work or activity likely to cause pollution, resumed work without ensuring it could do so safely and without pollution.

The third charge, said the board, relates to a violation of the Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act (CNLAAI) - namely, that no person shall cause or permit a spill on or from any portion of the east coast province's offshore area.

All three contraventions, said the board, constitute offences pursuant to paragraph 194(1)(a) of the CNLAAI Act.

CNLOPB said the first court hearing is scheduled for 23 November 2021 at the provincial court in St John’s, the provincial capital.

Cenovus had not replied to an Upstream question at press time.

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