News Release 2013-08-02


News Release 2013-08-02

News Release 2013-08-02 (AERNR2013-35)

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AER continues to oversee CNRL response to bitumen release incidents

For immediate release

Calgary, Alberta (Aug 02, 2013)…

Response efforts at the bitumen emulsion releases on Canadian Natural Resource Limited’s (CNRL) Primrose East and South locations continue. The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) remains on site and is working with the company and other regulators to control the release, contain and clean up the surface impact, and investigate the circumstances that lead to the cause of the bitumen releases.

“AER staff have been working with the company to control these releases and understand why they happened in the first place,” said AER CEO Jim Ellis. “The AER’s formal investigation into the cause of these incidents is actively underway. We do not currently have the evidence or data to support any conclusions as to the cause of the incident and look forward to reviewing CNRL’s information supporting their conclusions on the root cause of the releases.”

The AER’s direction to suspend and restrict steaming operations at the Primrose sites will remain in place until the regulator is satisfied that CNRL has provided factual technical information identifying the cause of the releases, has determined what is necessary to prevent future occurrences, and has demonstrated that measures are in place to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future.

As of August 2, the combined volume of bitumen released from the four sites is 1060 cubic metres (m3), which has impacted 20.7 hectares of land. The impacted area has been delineated, wildlife deterrents are monitored daily, and cleanup continues. The AER is working closely with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development and other agencies to ensure all regulatory requirements are met.

The AER continues to provide updates through the incident reporting tool, which includes incidents reported to the regulator since the AER’s launch on June 17, 2013. The web tool provides enhanced transparency about energy incidents that occur in the province and was developed in response to Albertans’ request for more information. The tool can be found at by clicking on Compliance and Enforcement then Incident Reporting.

The Alberta Energy Regulator ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.

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For more information, please contact:

Cara Tobin, Public Affair
Phone: 403-297-2252
Media line: 1-855-474-6356