Canadian Natural Resources was ordered to pay a $125,000 fine last Friday after the company pleaded guilty to a Fisheries Act offense tied to a 2010 crude leak.

The fine is related to a crude spill from an emergency overflow tank at a Canadian Natural Resources’ site near Spirit River in May 2010.

An estimated 1,585 gallons of crude was released, sending about 198 gallons into a tributary of the Peace River, the Canadian government said.

An investigation by Environment Canada concluded the spill was caused by valves that were left open and that the Calgary-based company “failed to ensure that operational procedures were followed.”

According to the settlement, released on Wednesday, the company will pay a $125,000 penalty with $113,000 going to the Environmental Damages Fund.

The remaining $12,000 will be paid as a fine.

The company’s name will also be added to Canada’s Environmental Offender’s Registry.

In November Canadian Natural Resources was cleared of responsibility for the deaths of 196 waterfowl that landed in tailings ponds near mining sites.

The Alberta Energy Regulator concluded that weather conditions forced the birds down into the ponds and that all deterrent systems to prevent such landings were working normally.


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