Pleads guilty: Nexen fined $750K for huge pipeline spill in northern Alberta

CALGARY — A Calgary energy company has pleaded guilty to federal and provincial environmental charges over one of the largest pipeline spills in Alberta history.

Nexen has been ordered to pay a total of $750,000 in fines for the Long Lake spill southeast of Fort McMurray that released five million litres of bitumen, sand and produced water over an area of 16,000 square metres in 2015. 

An agreed statement of facts says the pipeline began leaking two days before the problem was discovered by workers who happened to be in the area.

Nexen has said the release went undetected because a computer failed to sound an alarm.

About $450,00 of the provincial fine is to help establish best practices on pipeline spills and to expand an environmental sciences degree program for Indigenous youth.

The federal fine of $290,000 is to  go into an environmental damages fund for migratory bird habitat.

(Companies in this story: TSX:NXY)


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