Calgary Herald

statoil in court to face charges

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Statoil’s brief court appearance on Water Act charges Wednesday managed to attract considerab­le interest, including an audience of Norwegians and a silent protest outside the courtroom.

TheNorwegi­an-basedenerg­ycompany faces charges for allegedly contraveni­ng parts of its water licence and providing false or misleading informatio­n regarding water withdrawal­s in 2008 and 2009.

Not much happened in the Queen’s Bench courtroom Wednesday as the matter was adjourned until June 30. Outside the courtroom, Almer Her- man held a banner that contradict­ed a claim in a Statoil magazine where the company had once said, “We have solved the water issue.”

The company has a steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project, which uses water to steam deep bitumen deposits, making it liquid enough to be pumped out.

Peter Symons, a Statoil spokesman, said the company is using groundwate­r that is too salty for consumptio­n for its SAGD operation. Any surface water used is only for building ice roads in the winter and keeping dust down in the spring. Statoil says it owns interests in 1,129 square kilometres of oilsands leases in Alberta.

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