Nexen Energy enters not guilty plea in deadly 2016 explosion near Fort McMurray

Nexen Energy has pleaded not guilty to eight charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act following a 2016 explosion that killed two men at its Long Lake plant south of Fort McMurray.

On Jan. 15, 2016, maintenance workers were refitting the valves of a compressor at Long Lake’s hydrocracker unit, which combines hydrogen with partially upgraded bitumen to remove sulphur during the production of synthetic crude oil.

Just before 3:30 p.m. that day, an explosion destroyed much of the building. Drew Foster, 52, died instantly while Dave Williams, 30, died days later after being transported to Edmonton’s University Hospital in critical condition.

The charges, issued in Fort McMurray Provincial Court last December, include failure to ensure the health and safety of workers, that workers were properly trained and briefed for handling certain types of machinery, and that the machinery was properly serviced and maintained.

The company on Wednesday in Fort McMurray Provincial Court pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The company has argued the two men were working outside the scope of their approved work duties, although more information about what they were doing before the explosion has not been released.

Nexen, a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned firm CNOOC Ltd., has also been charged by the Alberta Energy Regulator after a ruptured pipeline spilled five million litres of emulsion into muskeg in July 2015 near the Long Lake property.

The facility is 40 kilometres south of Fort McMurray and near the rural hamlet of Anzac and the Fort McMurray #468 First Nation.

A request from the company for more than $19 million in tax relief from the municipality was rejected by councillors last April.

Representatives from Nexen are scheduled to make their next appearance in court on May 16.

…read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *