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Reporting On Our Progress

At the end of our investigation of an incident or noncompliant activity, we produce an investigation report that summarizes what we found. These investigation reports are archived; we publish more recent investigation reports on our Compliance Dashboard.

The following archived reports discuss

  • our investigation of the incident,
  • our assessment of the root cause,
  • contributing factors, and
  • the sequence of events leading to the incident or noncompliant activity.

The reports are sorted by publication date, from most to least recent.

More Information

Title Company Incident or activity description Incident date Report release date
Root Cause and Regulatory Response Report: CNRL Primrose Bitumen Emulsion Releases

Supporting documents [410 MB ZIP]
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) This report documents our investigation into the root cause and regulatory response to five bitumen emulsion flow-to-surface (FTS) events that occurred at CNRL’s Primrose and Wolf Lake high-pressure cyclic steam stimulation operations. January 2009; May and June 2013 March 21, 2016
Pipeline Failure and Release into the Red Deer River

Supporting documents [472MB ZIP]
Plains Midstream Canada ULC This report summarizes our investigation into a failure of Plains’ Rangeland pipeline and subsequent release of crude oil into the Red Deer River. June 7, 2012 March 4, 2014
Wellhead Piping Failure

Supporting documents [476MB ZIP]
Pace Oil and Gas This report documents our investigation into a crude oil spill that occurred at one of Pace’s water disposal wells located in the Rainbow Lake field. The spill occurred as a result of a hole in the wellhead piping. May 19, 2012 March 3, 2014
Well Blowout

Supporting documents [110MB ZIP]
Swan Hills 
Synfuels Ltd.
This report summarizes our investigation into a well blowout, explosion, and fire at Swan Hills Synfuels’ injection well associated with its in situ coal gasification demonstration project. October 10, 2011 February 25, 2014
Pipeline Failures

Supporting documents [47MB ZIP]
Pembina Pipeline Corporation This report documents our investigation into two pipeline failures that resulted in the release of sweet crude oil. The second failure occurred 1600 metres from the first when the pipeline was not operational; therefore, the release of oil was small. The report contains a root cause analysis and investigation findings into both failures. July 20 & August 15, 2011 February 26, 2013
Pipeline Failure

Supporting documents [81MB ZIP]
Pengrowth Energy Corporation This report summarizes our investigation into an explosion and fire at a pipeline field riser that resulted in a pipeline failure and the release of sweet oil/water effluent. June 26, 2011 February 26, 2013
Rainbow Pipeline Failure

Supporting documents [47MB ZIP]
Plains Midstream Canada ULC This report documents our investigation into the Rainbow pipeline failure, which resulted in the release of an estimated 4500 cubic metres of crude oil. Because of the significant environmental effect of the release, the AER (then the ERCB) led the response by multiple government agencies. April 28, 2011 February 26, 2013
Primrose East Bitumen Emulsion Release Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) This report summarizes our investigation into the release of bitumen emulsion near a wellhead located in the Primrose East development area of CNRL’s Primrose and Wolf Lake project. January 3, 2009 January 8, 2013
CNRL Investigation Report [250MB ZIP] Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) This report documents CNRL’s investigation into the Primrose East bitumen emulsion release. January 3, 2009 February 2011
Hydraulic Fracturing Incident Caltex Energy Inc. This report documents our investigation into a hydraulic fracturing incident that occurred on a Caltex Energy well. September 22, 2011 December 20, 2012
Hydraulic Fracturing Incident Midway Energy Ltd. On January 13, 2012, hydraulic fracturing operations conducted by Midway Energy affected a nearby producing oil well operated by Wild Stream Exploration. This resulted in a release of hydraulic fracturing and formation fluids (crude oil, produced water, and natural gas) at the Wild Stream well. This report documents our investigation into the incident and subsequent release. January 13, 2012 December 12, 2012
Well Blowout Penn West Petroleum Ltd. This report summarizes our investigation into a well blowout about 6 kilometres southwest of Swan Hills that occurred when a Penn West contractor was repairing a surface casing vent flow on an injection well. August 17, 2010 August 24, 2011
Well Blowout Daylight Energy Ltd. This report documents our investigation into a well blowout about 11 kilometres southwest of the hamlet of Lodgepole that ignited, destroying a service rig. March 4, 2011 August 12, 2011
Well Blowout Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) On February 24, 2010, CNRL experienced a well blowout and fire while drilling a well about 22 kilometres northwest of the village of Hythe near Grande Prairie. This report documents our investigation into the incident. February 24, 2010 February 11, 2011
Sour Gas Release Daylight Energy Amalgamationco Ltd. This report summarizes our investigation into the release of sour gas from a Daylight oil well about 3 kilometres southwest of the town of Lodgepole. December 16, 2009 July 21, 2010
Well Blowout TAQA North Ltd. This report documents our investigation into a well blowout that occurred about 4 kilometres southeast of the town of Crossfield. The blowout occurred while a TAQA contractor was performing maintenance activities on a gas well containing 42 per cent hydrogen sulphide. June 8, 2009 January 11, 2010
Suspended Well Release Harvest Operations Corporation This report summarizes our investigation into a crude oil spill at a Harvest well located on Canadian Forces Base Suffield. September 8, 2008 June 18, 2009
Well Blowout EnCana Oil and Gas Co. Ltd. This report documents our investigation into a well blowout that occurred at an EnCana suspended sweet well located on Canadian Forces Base Suffield. October 2, 2008 June 1, 2009
Crude Oil Pipeline Failure Pembina Pipeline Corporation This report summarizes our investigation into the failure of Pembina’s Cremona crude oil pipeline about 5 kilometres north of Sundre. The released oil flowed into Gleniffer Lake about 33 kilometres downstream of the break point. Testing on the failed section of the pipe revealed that the failure occurred as a result of one-way bending fatigue. June 15, 2008 April 14, 2009
Sour Gas Pipeline Failure Shell Canada Ltd. This report documents our investigation into a failure of the Screwdriver Creek (sour gas) pipeline about 20 kilometres west of Pincher Creek near the hamlet of Beaver Mines. The incident resulted in the release of hydrogen sulphide. Area residents were evacuated as a precaution. November 19, 2007 October 7, 2008
Steam Pipeline Failure MEG Energy Corporation This report summarizes our investigation into a steam pipeline failure at the steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) thermal heavy oil Phase I Pilot Project located near Christina Lake, about 150 kilometres south of Fort McMurray. The failure resulted in the release of bitumen, which was contained within a drainage ditch. May 5, 2007 September 2, 2008
Hydrogen Sulphide Odour Complaints This report documents our investigation into 49 hydrogen sulphide odour complaints we received during a two-day period at our Drayton Valley Field Centre. An exhaustive, multiparty investigation was unable to determine the source of the odour. This report documents our investigation into 49 hydrogen sulphide odour complaints we received during a two-day period at our Drayton Valley Field Centre. An exhaustive, multiparty investigation was unable to determine the source of the odour. January 14–15, 2007 May 22, 2007
Crude Oil Pipeline Failure Rainbow Pipe Line Company Ltd. This report summarizes our investigation into a failure of the Rainbow crude oil pipeline about 20 kilometres southeast of Slave Lake. The root cause of the failure was determined to be a combination of stress corrosion and fatigue cracking. October 10, 2006 May 9, 2007
Hydrogen Sulphide Release Shell Canada Ltd. This report documents our investigation into a release that occurred at Shell’s Scotford Oil Sands Upgrader facility near Fort Saskatchewan. The incident occurred during routine operations, and the release consisted of reactor effluent, composed of a mixture of hydrogen, hydrogen sulphide, and hydrocarbons. Damage was limited to Shell’s assets, and no members of the public were injured as a result of the incident. September 12, 2006 February 6, 2007