Nexen to reopen Long Lake pipelines

Nexen Energy – Canadian subsidiary of China's CNOOC Ltd. – has been allowed to reopen some pipelines, following a major oil spill in Alberta.

The good

After inspection, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) stated that Nexen could restart 40 of the 95 pipelines, which were shutdown at its Long Lake oilsands operation.

The regulator deemed that Nexen demonstrated that the pipelines are able to be operated safely and within the regulatory requirements.

The bad

The regulator also stated: "the remaining 55 pipelines affected by the order, which contain several products, including crude oil, natural gas and emulsion, continue to be suspended. These pipelines will not return to service until Nexen can demonstrate that the pipelines can be operated safely and within all requirements."

The outcome

As a result, Nexen shall be performing daily, routine inspections of its pipelines.

Spokeswoman Carrie Rosa stated: "AER continues to investigate and inspect the lines," before continuing to explain that company will be performing monthly aerial assessments in addition to its daily inspections.

However, the other pipelines will remain closed until the AER believe it to be safe.

Edited from various sources by Stephanie Roker

Sources: CBC News, Reuters, The Calgary Herald

Published on 11/09/2015

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