CALGARY – Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has pulled its application to resume steaming near the site of an ongoing bitumen spill in eastern Alberta.
The Alberta Energy Regulator told CNRL on Friday its application would be denied, after which the company withdrew it.
AER spokesman Bob Curran says it would have been inappropriate to allow that work to resume while an investigation into the root cause of the months-long leak was still ongoing.
The energy watchdog is weighing a separate application by CNRL to begin steaming outside of a restricted zone at Primrose, imposed after an emulsion of bitumen and water began oozing to the surface at four locations last spring.
Greenpeace campaigner Mike Hudema says he’s glad the application has been withdrawn, but a broader safety review of the technology CNRL uses at Primrose is also needed.
At Primrose, Canadian Natural pumps steam underground and allows it to soak into the reservoir before drawing the crude to the surface, a process known as high-pressure cyclic steam stimulation.