After a pipeline spill in 2015 and a deadly explosion in 2016, Nexen is set to expand operations through it’s Long Lake Southwest Project.
On Tuesday, Premier Rachel Notley was in Anzac with Energy Minister Margaret McQuaig Boyd to help launch construction for the facility southeast of Fort McMurray.
While speaking with reporters, the Premier touched on how important the project is, not only economically – as it will create 250 local jobs during peak construction; but also, from an environmental standpoint.
She says it’s just another example of the province’s ability to produce oil in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.
“There are $400 million reasons why this is a big investment. This site will produce 26,000 barrels per day, using less steam and less natural gas and the co-generational units will turn up power for both site operations and our electricity grid.”
Quinn Wilson is Executive Officer at CNOOC – North America, the parent company for Nexen, who says they’ll likely break first oil sometime in 2020.
He notes that Southwest will be one of their most environmentally friendly facilities to date.
“These barrels will have lower-steam-oil ratios than our current production. Which means it’ll use less steam, less gas and result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions per barrel.”
Notley also took time to address the Trans Mountain issue for a second consecutive day – reiterating that she’d like to see a timeline in place in the coming weeks.
The premier says they are communicating back and forth with the federal government to resolve the issue but feel it’s up to the Trudeau Liberals to ensure something is done.
Notley says in the meantime, Nexen’s Southwest facility is expected to be another showcase of Alberta’s continued commitment to the oil and gas sector.
“When that oil and gas comes from Alberta, it is produced to the highest environmental standards. We can develop our resources safely, sustainably and responsibly. We can do that while we create good jobs for working-class people all across Fort McMurray, Alberta and Canada.”
The current site has seen many problems over the years from the previously mentioned pipeline spill in 2015, the explosion in 2016 that killed two employees, multiple layoffs, and a shutdown following the wildfire.