CNRL fined for two failures of sulfur recovery unit at Horizon facility

CALGARY – Alberta’s Environment Department has fined Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ) $500,000 for incidents at its Horizon facility.

In a news release, the department says on May 28, 2010, the plant’s sulfur recovery unit failed and some hydrogen sulfide escaped at both ground level and through a flare stack.

The company didn’t report the incident until June 3, contravening a requirement under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and resulting in a $350,000 penalty.

In an unrelated incident on Aug. 2, 2012, the sulfur recovery unit again failed and an unknown quantity of hydrogen sulfide gas escaped through a flare stack as it failed to fully combust the gas, a contravention of the plant’s approval.

The company was fined $150,000 in that case.

Of the total penalty, $425,000 will be directed to researchers from the University of Calgary who will use the funds to research the toxicological effects of chemicals measured in the air in and around Fort MacKay.