Reg­u­la­tor or­ders 95 Nexen pipe­lines sus­pended in Canada

The China Post - - BUSINESS -

The oil and gas pro­ducer Nexen Energy, a Cana­dian sub­sidiary of China’s CNOOC, was forced to sus­pend oper­a­tions Satur­day at 95 pipe­lines af­ter a ma­jor leak last month.

The leak in Al­berta, western Canada, spilled some 31,500 bar­rels (5 mil­lion liters) of oil sands, prompt­ing con­cern and crit­i­cism from en­vi­ron­men­tal groups.

The Al­berta Energy

Reg­ula- tor (AER) or­dered the im­me­di­ate sus­pen­sion af­ter it ac­cused Nexen of “non­com­pli­ant ac­tiv­i­ties” at the firm’s Long Lake oil-sands oper­a­tions in terms of main­te­nance and mon­i­tor­ing.

Nexen will have to pro­vide doc­u­men­ta­tion to as­sure the agency that it can op­er­ate the pipe­lines safely.

“Pro­tec­tion of public safety and the en­vi­ron­ment are the AER’s top pri­or­ity,” said Jim El­lis, AER presi- dent and CEO.

“Given that this com­pany has al­ready had a pipeline fail­ure at this site, the AER will not lift this sus­pen­sion un­til Nexen can demon­strate that they can be op­er­ated safely and within all reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments.

“We will ac­cept no less than con­crete ev­i­dence.”

Nexen had said pre­vi­ously that no in­juries oc­curred as a re­sult of the spill and that the prob­lem pipeline had been “iso­lated.”

Green­peace says the spill is just the latest ev­i­dence of en­vi­ron­men­tal risks posed by the con­tro­ver­sial prac­tice of ex­tract­ing oil from tar sands.

Crit­ics blame mas­sive growth in the Al­berta oil sands for a spike in Cana­dian CO2 emis­sions that have con­trib­uted to Canada’s fail­ure to meet its in­ter­na­tional obli­ga­tions to curb global warm­ing.

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