Statoil admits Canada environmental breaches, Greens concerned / News / The Foreigner

Statoil admits Canada environmental breaches, Greens concerned. Norway oil giant Statoil admitted yesterday it broke the Province of Alberta’s environmental laws in connection with its oil sands project but environmental organisations are still up in arms. Statoil allegedly diverted water from several streams, lakes, and rivers to its on-site plant near Conklin, 350 kilometres northeast of Edmonton to release bitumen. Following protests from activists, the company was charged in February with 19 counts of improper water withdrawals from its oil sands facility near Fort McMurray dating back three years.

statoilcanadianoilsands, albertaprovincecourtcase, greenpeacenorway



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Statoil admits Canada environmental breaches, Greens concerned

Published on Thursday, 18th August, 2011 at 16:47 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and John Price      .

Norway oil giant Statoil admitted yesterday it broke the Province of Alberta’s environmental laws in connection with its oil sands project but environmental organisations are still up in arms.

New Identity, Statoil
New Identity, Statoil
Photo: Øyvind Hagen/Statoil


Statoil allegedly diverted water from several streams, lakes, and rivers to its on-site plant near Conklin, 350 kilometres northeast of Edmonton to release bitumen.

Following protests from activists, the company was charged in February with 19 counts of improper water withdrawals from its oil sands facility near Fort McMurray dating back three years.

Yesterday’s one-minute hearing, where Statoil admitted to some of the charges, was part of a legal process that has been going on since 6 April.

Bård Glad Pedersen, press spokesperson for Statoil’s international upstream activities, onshore and offshore, tells The Foreigner, ”it became clear on some counts we have not been fully-compliant with all our permits. The Prosecution said it wanted more time and expected a guilty plea.”

Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy has previously reminded the company, in which the government owns a 67 percent stake, of its obligations.

“We take it for granted that Statoil will follow local and national laws, guidelines, and restrictions as a big and responsible company, wherever they are,” he said in a recent interview.

If found guilty at the next hearing on 21 November, Statoil could face fines of up to $10 million, but  Mr Pedersen remains optimistic the Prosecutor’s use of what is termed ‘Creative Sentencing’ will considerably reduce the company’s final liability.

“We could be asked to contribute to a programme to enhance local industry or education and research,” he says.

According to Greenpeace Norway leader Truls Gulowsen, “although Statoil’s admission is a new turn in events the court case adds to the general embarrassment in Norway about Statoil’s involvement in the Canadian oil sands.”

“The project is not helping climate change as we cannot extract the world’s oil sands reserves and combat this simultaneously,” he concludes.




Published on Thursday, 18th August, 2011 at 16:47 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and John Price      .

This post has the following tags: statoilcanadianoilsands, albertaprovincecourtcase, greenpeacenorway.





  
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