Nexen charged after explosion killed two workers in 2016, Charges have been laid against Nexen Energy ULC after two workers were killed in an explosion at the Nexen Long Lake site south of Fort McMurray by Claire Theobald with files from Vincent McDermott, December 27, 2017, Calgary Herald
Charges have been laid against Nexen Energy ULC after two workers were killed in an explosion at the Nexen Long Lake site south of Fort McMurray.
Dave Williams, 30, and Drew Foster, 52, were changing valves on a hydrocracker — where hydrogen is combined with partially upgraded bitumen to remove sulphur while producing synthetic crude oil — on Jan. 15, 2016, when there was an explosion just before 3:30 p.m.
Foster died at the scene while Williams, after being transported to Edmonton for treatment in a burn unit, died a week later.
At the time, Nexen CEO Fang Zhi called the explosion “one of the darkest days in Nexen’s history” apologizing to the workers’ families.
Nexen is now facing eight charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The energy company is facing two counts each of failing to ensure the health and safety of a worker, failing to ensure that all workers were familiar with procedure before the work was done — specifically, isolating a single stage of a compressor rather than both stages — and failing to ensure a Make-Up Gas Compressor was serviced, maintained repaired or dismantled according to the manufacturer’s standards.
According to the charges, laid Dec. 19, the manufacturer’s standards warn, “do not loosen or remove any cylinder parts until the compressor is shut down and the pressure has been released. Pressure in the compressor system to be dropped to atmospheric pressure level.”
Nexen is facing another two charges of failing to ensure a Make-Up Gas Compressor was serviced, maintained repaired or dismantled according to the manufacturer’s standards where those specifications state, “before starting to work, the staff in charge of the machine must have read the operating manual, especially the chapter on safety rules. It is too late to do it during work/operation. This applies especially to staff working only occasionally, e.g. during setting up or maintenance of the machine.”
Nexen Energy ULC will face these charges in court on Feb. 14, 2018.
Long Lake, which is located 40 kilometres south of Fort McMurray and near the rural hamlet of Anzac, has not reopened since the fatal explosion.
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 near the Long Lake property in July 2015.
A request from the company for more than $19 million in tax relief from the municipality was rejected by councillors last April.
Comments to the article:
Blaine McDonald · NAIT
The maximum fine has never been applied in Alberta when workers are killed on the job, usually just a token fine?is given.
This is what happens when you sell Canadian companies to foreign entities who have terrible labor standards, safety standards and human rights standards. The Canadian government and the Chinese are both guilty of greed. I hope they get the maximum fine so they will understand that Chinese standards are not acceptable to Canadians. [Pfffffffft! Dream on. Real justice doesn’t exist in Rape & Pillage In-the-Cave-Canada]
[Refer also to:
2017 04 25: Nexen (Eaten by CNOOC Ltd.; Feast enabled by Steve Harper) asks Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo for $19.5M tax break due to Long Lake blast. Brilliant comment by Shane Shaugnessy: “Our company killed a couple employees and damaged some important equipment. Due to these events we would like the opportunity to do less to support the communties we harm and pollute while still draining as much wealth and intellectual property back to China.”
2015 08 30: What’s the AER really up to shutting down Nexen’s 95 pipeline licenses? Protti trying to save his job? Make Albertans forget the courts ruled that the regulator owes no duty of care to anyone no matter how badly harmed, and can violate our constitutional rights with complete legal immunity?
2015 07 19: AER orders “expectations” to Nexen over massive pipeline spill south of Fort McMurray, Alberta. Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation calls the break a tarsands milestone: “It is now home to the largest spill in Canadian history”
2012 02 21: Million-dollar Nexen donation backs leading scholars at Mount Royal University, Largest gift to Scholars Program benefits future journalists, educators [To bias journalists and “scholars” to report favourably when Nexen pollutes or kills?]
2010 09 28: EnCana Corporation facing criminal charges Encana “donates” and escapes the charges two years later 2012 09 12: $250000 in community safety projects following Encana deadly sour gas leak
If AER were a regulator instead of a Charter-violating enabler of polluting criminal corporations, and bully and abuser of harmed citizens, would the two men still be alive?
And how will the judge “punish” Nexen? A tiny fine or fines glorifying the company by ordering the fine(s) paid as donations pompously bragged about by “bought” journalists and scholars?
Or are the 8 charges just a facade, a game to fool the public and suggest that lawyers are important?
Will the judge nudge and wink wink for charges to be dropped if Nexen promises better behaviour?
2017 01 04: Happy Alberta-Oil-Patch-Get-Away-with-Murder New Year? After 10 years to investigate and release report, CNRL fined $10,000 – maximum allowed – following regulation violations that killed 2 workers, injured 5 others, 13 in total trapped by devastating tank collapse. All 29 charges against CNRL dropped. Alberta’s “No Duty of Care” energy “regulation” wins & kills, again.
Surprisingly, Nexen, as of December 28, 2017, has not donated to “Inside Education” yet. How soon before Nexen is to face these 8 charges for killing two workers will a “donation” appear?
Inside Education thanks the following Alliance Partners for their core financial and leadership support of Inside Education over extended periods of time, for one or more of our key program delivery areas. These partners actively participate in providing in-kind services such as volunteer time, hosting programs, and providing demonstrations and transportation.
Inside Education thanks the following Sustaining Partners for their significant support through a combination of funding, in-kind services, and program leadership.
- Alberta Ecotrust Foundation
- Alberta Irrigation Projects Association
- The Banff Centre
- City of Spruce Grove
- Spruce Meadows
- TD Friends of the Environment Foundation
- Weyerhaeuser Canada
Inside Education thanks the following organizations, Our Friends, for supporting our programming with expertise, knowledge and personal and organizational commitment to success.
- Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
- Alberta Capital Airshed Alliance
- Alberta Council for Environmental Education
- Alberta Education
- Alberta Emerald Foundation
- Alberta Energy
- Alberta Energy Regulator
- Alberta Environment and Parks
- Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education
- Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries
- Alberta Rural Sustainable Alternatives Network
- Alberta Teachers Association Science Council
- Alberta Tomorrow
- Alberta Tourism, Parks, and Recreation
- Alberta Trappers Association
- Alberta Venture
- Alberta WaterSMART
- Algonquin Power & the Red Lily Wind Project
- Aquality Environmental Consulting
- Athabasca Watershed Council
- Battle River Watershed Alliance
- The Blood Tribe
- Bodo Archaeological Society
- Buffalo Park Centre
- Calgary Regional Airshed Zone
- Calgary Zoo
- Canadian Parks and Wilderness Association
- CAREERS: The Next Generation
- Centre for Global Education
- Centre for Environment-Economy Learning
- Climate Change & Emissions Management Corporation
- Coalspur Mines
- Community Futures, Lac La Biche
- Cows and Fish
- Green Calgary
- Engage North
- fRI – Research (Foothills Research Institute)
- Fort McKay First Nation
- Greener Homes
- Greener Pastures Ranching
- GreenLearning Canada
- Integrated Sustainibility
- Kaye Bison Ranch
- Keepers of the Athabasca
- Keyano College
- Lac La Biche Mission Historical Society
- Lakeland College
- Lakeland Expeditions
- Landmark Homes
- Learning Clicks
- Lethbridge Biogas
- Lethbridge College
- Lloydminster Cultural and Science Centre
- MMM Group
- Nature Saskatchewan
- Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
- North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance
- North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper
- Nutrients for Life Canada
- Oil Sands Discovery Centre
- Parks Canada
- Pembina Institute
- Pollution Probe
- Portage College
- Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
- Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
- Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan
- Shale Resource Centre
- Skills Canada
- STAR EcoWorks
- Stoney Nakoda First Nation
- Synergy Alberta
- Town of Brooks
- University of Alberta
- University of Calgary
- University of Lethbridge
- Upper Souris Watershed Association
- Watershed Stewardship Advisory Groups
- Wageningen University
- Western Sky Land Trust
- Whitecourt Forest Interpretive Centre
- Wood Buffalo Wastewater Treatment Facility
- Work Wild
As a registered Canadian charity, Inside Education invites donations and in-kind support from organizations and individuals who wish to support our mission and vision.