Canadian Natural Resources has discovered a fifth bitumen leak at its Primrose facility, after an eight-month battle to get the facility’s operations under control.
The latest leak occurred underground at the facility on January 3, 2014. Some 27,000 litres were leaked into the ground, away from local aquifers.
The company’s Primrose site is located 45 kilometres northwest of Cold Lake.
The Alberta Energy Regulator has ordered Canadian Natural Resources, or CNRL, to suspend steam operations at the pad and explore well repair options.
The cause of the leak has not yet been determined.
The first four leaks, which were reported on May 20, June 8 and June 24 of 2013, resulted in nearly two million litres of bitumen emulsion leaking into the ground.