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CNOOC fined for fatal 2016 blast at Canada oilsands site

23 April 2019

CNOOC Petroleum North America, formerly known as Nexen Energy, has been fined $450,000 after pleading guilty to charges following the deaths of two oilsands workers at its Long Lake facility in northern Alberta. The two men died from an explosion at the Long Lake SAGD and upgrader facility near Anzac on January 15, 2016.

Oilsands facility - Image: Shutterstock
Oilsands facility - Image: Shutterstock

The Chinese-owned group had earlier denied responsibility for the incident, saying the men were working outside the scope of their approved work activities changing valves on a compressor when the explosion happened.

Nexen Energy was charged by Alberta Labour in 2017 with workplace offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Some of the charges related to ensuring a compressor was properly serviced and that staff in charge of the equipment had read its operating manual and safety rules.

The company initially pleaded not guilty in March last year, but on April 18 at Fort McMurray provincial court changed this to a guilty plea in failing to ensure the health and safety of the men.

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