The Long Lake pipeline failure site remediation and recovery work continues to progress as we approach the winter months. Our priorities remain focused on maintaining a safe work site and minimizing the impact on the environment and wildlife.

Bitumen extraction began on October 2 and has progressed quickly. “To date we have recovered more than 82 per cent of the surface bitumen,” says Ron Bailey, Senior Vice President, Canadian Operations. “Cooler temperatures were needed to slightly harden the emulsified bitumen, allowing us to safely remove it without pushing it down and further contaminating the soils lower in the muskeg. Following bitumen extraction, workers are conducting visual inspections and the soil is being tested to ensure all bitumen has been recovered.”

Recovered water is being recycled. The recovered bitumen and earth will be disposed of in accordance with regulatory requirements.

Video footage of the bitumen recovery process is available through the Long Lake Pipeline Failure webpage.

Wildlife monitoring is ongoing and several deterrents remain in place to discourage the presence of birds and other animals. With winter approaching, seasonal temperatures have resulted in changes to the wildlife mitigation program. Clean-up progress has also provided opportunity for changes. With the Alberta Energy Regulator’s (AER) approval, Nexen is closing off shallow bell holes to protect small mammals looking for places to burrow. Effigies and flagging will be removed as the migratory bird season has ended. The fenced area will be minimized to surround the remaining open trench and ongoing pipeline work.

The sampling of surface water continues to show improvement in quality as part of the chloride recovery efforts. Similar to the wildlife mitigation measures, and in consultation with the AER, Nexen will be reducing the sampling frequency during the winter months. Sampling will focus on high risk areas and areas that are protective of the adjacent lake.

Nexen’s internal investigation into the cause of this incident continues. The AER is also conducting an independent investigation.

Operations at our K1A site have not resumed, and there is no estimate on timing for recommencing production. Regular updates will continue to be posted to our website:

Past Updates

October 6, 2015
September 1, 2015