This release was issued under a previous government.

Under the new order, CNRL is required to determine the impact to subsurface groundwater and work to find the root cause of all four bitumen releases.

Information gained from the order will inform Environment and Sustainable Resource Development as it investigates the environmental impact of the releases. All information will be shared with the Alberta Energy Regulator as it leads the investigation into the cause of the bitumen releases.

Incident details

  • In May and June, three bitumen release locations were identified at surface sites in Canadian Natural Resources Limited’s Primrose oil and gas development.
  • A fourth release site was discovered in June underneath an unnamed waterbody.

Enforcement Order

  • The order requires the cleanup, remediation, and reclamation of the three surface bitumen release sites.
  • The order does not require containment, remediation, and delineation work for the Primrose South waterbody site, because this work is covered in the Environmental Protection Order issued to CNRL on September 24.
  • Under the Enforcement Order, CNRL must implement regional groundwater monitoring plans to investigate potential groundwater contamination.
  • CNRL must also work to find the underlying root causes of the bitumen releases.
  • To execute the order, CNRL must initiate a drilling program. Doing this work in the winter months minimizes the environmental impact of the drilling activities.

Enforcement orders are one of many tools – including education and prevention – used by Environment and Sustainable Resource Development to ensure all Albertans can continue to enjoy a safe and healthy environment. 

Related information

Compliance enforcement actions

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