Nexen Charged for July 2015 Long Lake Pipeline Spill

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The Alberta Energy Regulator has issued charges against Nexen related to a pipeline spill in July 2015.

The five charges under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and the Public Lands Act come after Nexen reported a spill to the AER at the company’s Long Lake in situ oil sands facility approximately 36 km southeast of Fort McMurray.

“AER staff responded immediately to the pipeline spill,” said Martin Foy, vice president of Environment and Operational Performance. “Since then we’ve been gathering and reviewing the evidence to determine the cause of this incident and whether the company complied with AER requirements.”

The company reported that the spill released approximately 5,000 cubic meters of emulsion (a mixture of crude bitumen and produced water). The spill was estimated to have affected an area of about 21 900 square meters.

“Producing oil or gas in Alberta comes with a responsibility to follow all requirements to protect the public and environment,” said AER president and CEO Jim Ellis. “When we believe that the rules are not followed, we have a variety of tools, including laying charges that we can and do use in an attempt to ensure that potential offenders are held accountable.”

The first court appearance is scheduled for August 16, 2017, in Fort McMurray.

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