Potential Accident Similar to Deep Water Horizon Looms Unless Oil and Gas Develops Policy, Standards and Procedures for Underwater Weapons


The Major Threat we face for an Incident to occur in an Off-shore Underwater Munitions Sites is non-UXO personnel Risk Mitigating for Oil and Gas Projects. Its Extremely Dangerous to allow General Consultants with no formal education for Underwater Unexploded Ordnance to Risk Mitigate Sites for Oil and Gas, Commissions and Petroleum Boards.  With no Formal Education on Munitions the little bit of information they know becomes Dangerous and Short-cuts become the Norm, in Many Cases how Accidents are Created.  TP LONG

Did you know that the BP Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon was drilling in a Documented Underwater Munitions Dump Site when it blow-up?  Even if it wasn’t a Munitions we now know the Potential Risks!

Deepwater offshore drilling by the energy sector has a Sydney expert flagging the threat of munitions dumped off the coast of Nova Scotia.

“The exploration companies are drilling deeper than ever before and, back in the day, these same deep waters were selected by authorities for disposal of unexploded ordnance,” Terry Long, owner of Wentworth Environmental Inc. in Sydney, said in an interview Tuesday.

Long said drilling could potentially detonate an unexploded bomb, or rupture a canister filled with dangerous chemicals.

He has credentials when it comes to risks associated with munitions dumped off the coast of Atlantic Canada and in ocean waters around the world. His business specializes in removalof underwater ordnance, and he founded and chairs the International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions.

Authorities have long been aware of the potential risks of undersea munitions dumps in Atlantic Canada. They number more than 3,000 between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, according to various sources.

The dumps are comprised mostly of unexploded bombs and unused chemicals from the first and second world wars.

Long said the munitions risk escalated as drilling rigs headed into deeper waters to search for oil. In this province, Shell Canada Ltd. is drilling in the Shelburne Basin, and BP is expected to begin drilling in 2017, after completing seismic work in 2014.

“There is a need for some constructive discussion on how best to mitigate the risk of these munitions,” Long said.

He said he is writing a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to raise his concern about the energy sector proceeding with inadequate assessments of undersea munitions dumps near drilling rigs.

However, a spokeswoman for the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board said there are extensive protocols in place relating to a range of undersea hazards, including unexploded ordnance.

The existence of dump sites has been recognized and accepted as part of assessments of offshore drilling programs since the 1960s, said Kathleen Funke, with the board in Halifax.

“Long before drilling occurs there are consultations with the Department of National Defence regarding unexploded ordnance,” Funke said.

Risk assessments of unexploded ordnance are part of required hazard surveys, she said.

“There is potential for ordnance to be an issue anywhere offshore and particularly in Nova Scotia, with our military history,” she said.

Funke said that in the case of the Shell program, undersea hazards would have been identified by a 3D seismic survey conducted in 2013. She said there were also assessments conducted with remote underwater vehicles equipped with high-definition cameras.

“If there were any issues, they would have been uncovered by these sophisticated technologies,” she said.

Shell has the exploration vessel Stena IceMax drilling offshore, about 250 kilometres from Shelburne.