CALGARY, Alberta–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Imperial today announced that it has successfully restarted production at its Norman Wells operations in the Northwest Territories following the return to service of Enbridge’s Line 21 pipeline. Imperial had previously resumed limited shipments of crude oil from storage in September.
More than 100 employees and contractors have been working to restart operations, with a focus on safety and protection of the environment. Production is expected to ramp up in the weeks and months ahead to around 10,000 barrels per day, consistent with rates prior to the shutdown.
“We appreciate the support from the Sahtu communities and local residents during the extended shutdown of our operations at Norman Wells,” said John Whelan, Imperial’s senior vice president, upstream. “The return to regular operations will increase economic benefits to the local communities. We are extremely proud of the dedication and hard work by our employees and contractors to achieve this goal.”
Imperial’s Norman Wells operations will also resume supplying Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) with electricity. The operation generates electricity for its own use, and sells surplus electricity to NTPC, which supplies the town of Norman Wells.
In December 2016, Enbridge proactively suspended shipments on the pipeline due to slope stability concerns on one section of line at the Mackenzie River crossing near Fort Simpson. Following a lengthy regulatory process, replacement work started on the two-kilometre section of the 870-kilometre pipeline in May 2018 and was completed in September 2018.
“Imperial commends Enbridge for its focus on safety to proactively shut down this line as a precautionary step before there was an issue,” said Whelan. “We also recognize the efforts by Enbridge’s employees and contractors to return this line to operation.”