Chinese state owned CNOOC’s Canadian subsidiary Nexen Energy has been ordered by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to suspend operations of 95 pipelines in northeastern parts of the province.
The suspension of pipelines have been ordered after five million litres of bitumen, sand and oil leaked last month at company’s Long Lake oilsands operation in northern Alberta.
Following the leak, Alberta Energy Regulator carried out an investigation into the breach and ordered immediate suspension for 15 pipeline licenses, which will involve shutting down of 95 pipelines.
As per the order, the company has been asked to close 95 pipelines which carry natural gas, crude oil, salt water, fresh water, and emulsion, as well as provide sufficient documentation validating safety of the pipeline operations to the AER.
AER president and CEO Jim Ellis said: "Protection of public safety and the environment are the AER’s top priority.
"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."
AER has identified Nexen Energy’s noncompliance for the Pipelines Act and Pipeline Rules on multiple pipelines at the Long Lake Facility as a part of the ongoing investigation for its pipeline failure.
Upon completion of final investigation report, the AER expects to determine the level of noncompliance for the Pipelines Act and Pipeline Rules on multiple pipelines at the Long Lake Facility.
Nexen Energy said in a statement: "As part of our Process Safety Management program, Nexen Energy ULC initiated an internal audit of our corporate pipeline integrity management system in early July 2015.
"This audit identified a number of non-compliances primarily related to documentation of maintenance activities.
"As stated in our self-disclosure to the AER, Nexen considers regulatory compliance to be of the utmost importance in our operations, and we are committed to continuous improvement, regulatory compliance and cooperation with the AER."