ExxonMobil fined $40,000 after incident on rig off Nova Scotia last fall

ExxonMobil Canada Ltd

Nova Scotia's offshore regulator has fined ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. $40,000 after a "near miss" incident last fall that saw a chain dropped on the Noble Regina Allen drilling rig.

The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board says it found the oil and gas company was not in compliance with drilling regulations at the time of the Nov. 5 incident.

Five nearby workers narrowly escaped injury when a 15-metre chain, along with a swivel and shackle with a combined weight of 102 kilograms, fell nearly 18 metres to the deck during a lifting operation in the derrick area.

The chain landed about 30 centimetres from one of the workers who was helping the others disconnect a load.

The offshore board says the equipment used in the lifting operation was not properly maintained and operated to prevent the incident.

It says it determined the violation was subject to an administrative monetary penalty that was issued on July 12 and paid by ExxonMobil on Aug. 12.