August 16, 2018
A month after being ordered to pay $750,000 in fines related to a 2015 pipeline leak, Nexen Energy is reporting a spill of 270,000 litres from a different pipeline at the same northern Alberta project.
The Alberta Energy Regulator says in an email to Canadian Press that Nexen, a subsidiary of state-owned China National Offshore Oil Co. Ltd. or CNOOC, reported the release of produced water from a pipeline at its Long Lake oil sands project about 55 kilometres southeast of Fort McMurray on Sunday.
It says no waterbody or wildlife impacts have been reported and the line has been isolated and depressurized.
It adds that cleanup is underway. Produced water, often contaminated with salt and other substances, is a byproduct of the oil and gas extraction process.
The 2015 pipeline leak at Long Lake resulted in a spill of about five million litres of bitumen, sand and produced water affecting an area of about 16,000 square metres.
It had been leaking for about a month before it was discovered by employees.
In June, Nexen said it will spend about $400 million to build a 26,000-barrel-per-day expansion of its oil sands project.