CALGARY, Nov. 20, 2015 /CNW/ - The National Energy Board (NEB) has issued an Inspection Officer Order (Order) to NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL). The Order requires the immediate cessation of all further horizontal and directional drilling activity under the Athabasca River at the company's McDermott Extension natural gas pipeline project, which is located 75 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.
The NEB Order follows four separate incidents during which drilling resulted in the unintended release of drilling fluid into the Athabasca River. One slope failure was also recorded.
The NEB responded immediately and continues to investigate the incidents; including an evaluation of the drilling mud composition and volumes released.
The NEB confirms that NGTL is currently in non-compliance with NEB regulations for its failure to adhere to the NEB-approved Environmental Protection Plan. The Onshore Pipeline Regulations requires the company to 'develop, implement and maintain an environmental protection program that anticipates, prevents, manages and mitigates conditions that could adversely affect the environment'.
All agencies have been notified and the NEB investigation continues.
- From 2014 to date, the NEB has issued 17 Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMP's) totaling $811,300.00 to companies not in compliance with the Board's regulations.
- The NEB regulates 2,117 energy facilities and 73,000 kilometres of pipeline in Canada.
- In 2014, Canada's NEB regulated pipeline network transported 1.27 billion barrels of hydrocarbon products (crude oil, natural gas, refined petroleum products and natural gas liquids).
The NEB Safety Order can be found on the NEB web site at: www.neb-one.gc.ca
The National Energy Board is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada's energy industry with the safety of Canadians and protection of the environment as its top priority. Its purpose is to regulate pipelines, energy development and trade in the Canadian public interest. For more information on the NEB and its mandate, please visit www.neb-one.gc.ca.
SOURCE National Energy Board
For further information: Darin Barter, National Energy Board, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone: 403-299-3371, Cellular: 403-837-5267, Telephone (toll-free) 1-800-899-1265