Nexen Energy apologizes for pipeline leak near Fort McMurray

Company says it doesn't yet know what caused the leak in the pipeline

CALGARY — Nexen Energy is apologizing for a five million litre pipeline spill of bitumen, produced water and sand southeast of Fort McMurray, Alta.

Ron Bailey, the company’s senior vice-president of Canadian operations, says it doesn’t yet know what caused the leak in the pipeline, which was built last year, but it is investigating.

The company, which was taken over by China’s CNOOC Ltd. in 2013, says the affected area is about 16,000 square metres, mostly along the pipeline’s route.

Bailey says Nexen Energy shut down the pipeline as soon as the leak was detected but automatic detection systems didn’t work properly.

He says company staff have been on site to contain the spill and prevent impact on wildlife and a nearby pond.


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