CALGARY – Nexen Energy says it is “preparing to comply” with requirements from the Alberta Energy Regulator following the agency’s order that the company cease operations of 95 pipelines in the province.
A news release Saturday from the company says it’s working to collect the information and documentation the regulator needs, and is looking forward to continuing to work with the regulator to resolve the issue.
The regulator issued the order late Friday due to what it called non-compliance surrounding pipeline maintenance and monitoring in its Long Lake oilsands project.
On July 15, a pipeline at the project southeast of Fort McMurray, Alta., leaked about five million litres of a mixture of bitumen, produced water and sand into muskeg.
Alberta Energy Regulator spokesman Bob Curran said Friday that the shut pipelines carry several products including crude oil, natural gas, salt water, fresh water and emulsion.
The company’s news release doesn’t say when it hopes to have the pipelines running again, but says it will provide additional information when it becomes available.
“Nexen considers regulatory compliance to be of the utmost importance in our operations,” the company’s news release stated. “Our top priority is the safety of our employees, the public and the environment.”
Nexen said in the news release that it started an internal audit of its pipeline integrity management system in early July and that it “voluntarily self-disclosed all non-compliances” to the regulator last Tuesday. It said it also included a plan on what it intended to do about them.
It said the compliance issues were primarily related to documentation of maintenance.
On Friday, Curran’s explanation was that Nexen had provided the AER with a letter early this week as part of the investigation into the July leak. He said the letter indicated that Nexen didn’t have the documentation the regulator was looking for, or that the required activities had occurred.
Jim Ellis, president and CEO of the AER, has said the regulator will not lift the suspension until Nexen can demonstrate that the lines can be operated safely and within all regulatory requirements.