Final clarification in water issue for Statoil Canada Ltd.

October 31, 2011, 18:17 CET

The original 19 charges have been withdrawn by the Crown and the parties have agreed to a new replacement charge.

Between 15 December 2008 and 29 May 2009, Statoil contravened its license by underestimating water withdrawal from an approved location, by withdrawing water from two waterholes not included in the license, by using an intake screen with a larger opening than authorised (8mm rather than 2.54 mm) and by not properly measuring water diversion according to the requirements in the license.

There was no pollution associated with Statoil's water use or breach of its license. Charges for intentional contravention and knowingly providing false information are among the withdrawn charges.

Statoil accepts responsibility for the contravention and will pay a fine of $5,000 CAD. In addition, and as part of a creative sentencing project, Statoil will allocate $185,000 CAD to finance an educational e-learning program which will provide information and direction on water diversion and proper compliance with the relevant legislation and regulations.


Lars Christian Bacher, president of Statoil Canada Ltd.

Statoil does not use surface water in its oil sands production process. The company obtains licenses from Alberta Environment to use surface water during the winter drilling campaigns. The water is mainly utilized to freeze ice roads for transportation of equipment. 

“Statoil accepts responsibility for not fully complying with the terms and conditions for our license to withdraw water during this period in 2008 and 2009. For Statoil, it has been important to cooperate constructively with Alberta Environment and we have provided information to clarify all facts. We appreciate this process has clarified that the contraventions have not been intentional and that we have not knowingly provided wrong information,” says Lars Christian Bacher, president of Statoil Canada Ltd.

“Even before charges were laid, Statoil developed improved practices to best ensure future license and Water Act compliance. We are pleased we can share information and our practices through this creative sentencing initiative and contribute to improved industry standards in this area,” says Bacher.

The implemented improvement measures include the establishment of a detailed instruction manual, routine for follow-up in the field and the production and distribution of screens with openings according to regulations.