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AER to release 2013 Primrose oil sands leak report

Alberta Energy Regulator investigated bitumen-water mixture oozing to the surface at CNRL’s site.


CALGARY — The Alberta Energy Regulator will release its report on its investigation into a high-profile oil leak nearly three years ago.

During the spring of 2013, a bitumen-water mixture was found oozing to the surface at Canadian Natural Resources’ Primrose oil sands site in eastern Alberta.

More than a million litres of the fluid was recovered from four locations.

CNRL had been using an extraction method at Primrose known as high-pressure steam stimulation, the safety of which has been questioned by environmental groups.

In September of 2014, the regulator allowed the company to resume operations at part of Primrose using a different technique called low-pressure steam flooding.

An earlier review pointed to the problems at Primrose being twofold: faulty old wellbores at the site and the extraction method CNRL used.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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