News Release 2015-07-03

 

News Release 2015-07-03

News Release 2015-07-03 (AERNR2015-06)

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Alberta Energy Regulator shuts in wells following compliance sweeps in the Peace River area

For immediate release

Calgary, Alberta (Jul 03, 2015)…

Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) inspection teams conducted a compliance sweep of 71 sites in the Peace River area from June 15 to 19, 2015, and shut in sites not meeting requirements.

The AER found 16 sites, all operated by Murphy Oil Company Ltd., to be noncompliant with requirements to capture and flare, incinerate, or conserve all casing gas and tank-top gases in accordance with their schedule, submitted to and approved by the AER. As a result, they were shut in or partially shut in. A partial shut-in involves shutting in the piece of equipment that is in noncompliance without shutting down the entire site.

The AER directed Murphy to conduct inspections on remaining sites. The company shut in or partially shut in an additional 17 sites that were venting casing or tank-top gas.

“Albertans expect the AER to protect public safety and the environment and to make sure operators follow the rules,” said AER president and CEO Jim Ellis. “The AER is committed to continued action in Peace River and ensuring all our requirements are met. When they are not, we will take enforcement action as we have demonstrated with these recent compliance sweeps.”

The AER is conducting an investigation into the noncompliances. All sites will remain shut in or partially shut in until the AER approves the operator’s action plan to achieve compliance. Information about the investigation and noncompliances can be found on the AER’s compliance dashboard.

Based on recommendations found in the Report of Recommendations on Odours and Emissions in the Peace River Area, operators in the Seal Lake and Walrus areas submitted operating plans to the AER in June 2014 that included an implementation schedule to capture tank-top gases as part of an ongoing effort to improve air quality in the Peace River area.

The AER has conducted six sets of targeted compliance sweeps since June 2014, inspecting 834 sites in the Peace River area. These sweeps supplement the AER’s regular inspections. Results of the compliance sweeps are available at www.aer.ca.

The AER 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.


FOR BROADCAST USE

The Alberta Energy Regulator has found 16 sites operated by Murphy Oil Company Ltd. to be noncompliant with requirements to capture and conserve gases in the Peace River area. The AER is conducting an investigation into the noncompliances, and all sites will remain shut in or partially shut in until the AER approves the operator’s action plan to achieve compliance.

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For more information, please contact:

Melanie Veriotes, AER Office of Public Affairs
Phone: 403-297-6986
E-mail: melanie.veriotes@aer.ca
Media line: 1-855-474-6356

AERNR2015-06