Erin Flanagan, Analyst at the Pembina Institute, made the following comments today in response to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s (CNRL) application to resume steaming operations near areas experiencing on-going bitumen-emulsion releases:
“CNRL should not be allowed to increase high pressure cyclic steam stimulation (HPCSS) in proximity to the areas impacted by blowouts in 2013 until the Alberta Energy Regulator investigation is complete, the results have been made public and interested parties have had an opportunity to comment on recommendations arising from the investigation. It is premature to debate additional production until this report is complete and has been subject to public review.
“This is particularly important given that the investigation conducted by the regulator in 2009 failed to identify effective mitigation measures and did little to improve public understanding of the technical risks associated with HPCSS in the oilsands.
“The CNRL blowouts of 2009 and 2013 have raised unanswered questions about the viability of the HPCSS method of extracting bitumen in Alberta. CNRL has made claims that steaming can be resumed safely but has not backed up those claims by making public the findings of any recent investigations.”
For more on the Pembina Institute’s perspective on the on-going bitumen-emulsion releases in Cold Lake, see the following resources: