Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (Oct. 2016)
A company that runs a sour-gas plant in Mazeppa, Alberta, is incapable of responding to emergencies, due to an inactive leak-detection system and a shortage of staff, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) warns.
Suzanne Belliveau, acting director of enforcement and surveillance with the energy-industry watchdog, issued an order to Lexin Resources Ltd., the Calgary company that runs the plant, on August 09, 2016. The order reveals that Lexin laid off most of the Mazeppa plant’s staff on June 30, 2016, with only six employees left to manage the plant and its connected pipelines and wells. On July 29, 2016, the company told AER that it could not respond to emergencies and would defer the responsibility to AER.
Ryan Bartlett, an AER senior advisor, says the agency has done some inspections since February and had found deficiencies in their facilities. “On August 9th, we ordered the company to immediately suspend the Mazeppa gas plant and any associated infrastructure.”
Lexin was also expected to submit new plans describing how it will monitor the plant and to respond to emergencies and safety-related complaints there by August 15, 2016. While the company does have an emergency-response plan in place, “we have asked for some additional information, just to ensure that a response is possible if it happens to be an emergency,” Bartlett adds.
Belliveau’s order notes that the supervisory-control and data-acquisition system intended to monitor releases of sour gas at the plant is not operational and that Lexin failed to comply with one section of an order that AER issued on June 15, 2016.
Once Lexin has submitted its new incidence and monitoring plans and other information to AER, the company is expected to implement the plans, subject to the approval of the regulator’s director. The company must also submit a weekly written report to AER detailing any actions taken regarding incident response and monitoring, as well as post a weekly public report on its website.
It seems Lexin had no intention in putting in safeguards as requested by the AER. They claimed bankruptcy in 2017 and has left millions of dollars in fines and other costs associated with the regular monitoring and cleanup of orphan wells.
I have included the latest report.
Sad to think safety was not factored into the business model for Lexin. I would wonder what the final costs are going to be.
Maybe we will never know.
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