The Stena IceMAX used by Shell Canada to drill an exploratory well off the coast of Nova Scotia. (Photo: Stena)
Shell Canada allowed to leave pipe and riser on ocean floor off NS
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 01:00 (GMT + 9)
Multinational petrolium company Shell can leave two kilometres of pipe and a giant marine riser on the ocean floor after accidentally dropping them off the coast of Nova Scotia in 2016.
The pipe and lower marine riser package had been used by the Stena IceMAX, a specialized ship hired by Shell Canada, to drill an exploratory well to search for oil, CBC News reported.
In bad weather and rough seas on March 5, 2016, the riser and pipes disconnected from the ship and the 115-tonne piece of equipment sank.
Shell argued it was safest and easiest to leave them where they fell, which regulators agreed on.
On Thursday, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board agreed.
Along with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Department of Environment and Climate Change Canada, it reviewed the case and said based on the documentation Shell provided, leaving them underwater does not break any laws or regulations that CNSOPB enforces.
"DFO have concluded that Shell Canada's decision to leave the riser on the seafloor will not result in serious harm to fish, which is prohibited under subsection 35(1) of the Fisheries Act, nor will it contravene sections 32, 33, or 58 of the Species at Risk Act," CNSOPB said.
The environment department said Shell will need to get a disposal at sea permit to abandon the pipe and riser.