AER orders Nexen to shut 95 pipelines at Long Lake

The Alberta Energy Regulator on Aug. 28 ordered Nexen Energy ULC to shut 95 pipelines at its Long Lake oil sands operations due to noncompliance in pipeline maintenance and monitoring. The lines carry crude oil, natural gas, salt water, fresh water, and emulsion.

AER in July reported that Long Lake leaked 5,000 cu m of emulsion—a mixture of bitumen, produced water, and sand (OGJ Online, July 17, 2015).

Nexen said it “voluntarily self-disclosed all noncompliances” to AER on Aug. 25, and is working to “compile the necessary information and documentation.”

AER Pres. Jim Ellis said, “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 said the order—under Section 29 of the Pipeline Act—affects 15 pipeline licenses. AER’s incident investigation continues, and findings will be published once the investigation is complete.

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