Nexen Long Lake is moving to a SAG-D operation after they determined that their hydrocracker unit repair wouldn’t be a quick fix.
The move means that 350 workers at the troubled site are being laid off.
The hydrocracker unit exploded on January 15, killing two workers who were doing repairs in the building. Nexen says their internal investigation revealed that the explosion was caused by work being performed that was “outside the scope of approved work activities.”
The company said the layoff of workers due to the change in their operations will be completed by years’ end.
Results of the investigation into the 2015 emulsion spill were also revealed. The company says a “thermally-driven upheaval” buckled the pipeline, allowing up to 5 million litres of the water, bitumen, and sand mixture to seep out for up to two weeks before it was discovered.