CNOOC fined $450,000 for blast that killed 2 men at Long Lake facility

Click to play video: 'Fatal explosion at Nexen Long Lake facility near Fort McMurray' Fatal explosion at Nexen Long Lake facility near Fort McMurray
Jan. 16, 2016: One person is dead and another is in critical condition following an explosion at an oilsands site in northern Alberta Friday. Reid Fiest has the details from Fort McMurray – Jan 16, 2016

The company formerly known as Nexen Energy has been fined $450,000 after pleading guilty to charges in the deaths of two oilsands workers in northern Alberta.

The two men died from an explosion at the Long Lake SAGD and upgrader facility near Anzac on Jan. 15, 2016.

Drew Foster, 52, of Niagara Falls, Ont., was pronounced dead at the scene and David Williams, 30, of Scotchtown, N.S., died 10 days later in an Edmonton hospital.

Drew Foster, seen here in photos shared on his Facebook page. Credit: Facebook/Drew Foster

In July 2016, Nexen executives said the cause of the explosion was the employees themselves, saying the men were working outside the scope of their approved work activities when the explosion happened.

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READ MORE: Employees caused Nexen Long Lake explosion: Company executives

Williams, a journeyman millwright, was changing out valves on a compressor when the explosion happened.

Nexen Long Lake facility near Fort McMurray where deadly explosion happened. Credit: Nexen

Nexen Energy was charged by Alberta Labour in 2017 with workplace offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Some of the charges related to ensuring a compressor was properly serviced and that staff in charge of the machine had read its operating manual and safety rules.

The company initially pleaded not guilty in March 2018.

READ MORE: Nexen Energy pleads not guilty to charges related to fatal Alberta oilsands explosion

On Thursday, the company, which is now called CNOOC Petroleum North America, pleaded guilty in Fort McMurray provincial court to failing to ensure the health and safety of the men.

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The company was fined $450,000. All other charges related to their deaths were withdrawn.

The Crown said it believes that there was a just result in this case.

The court heard 16 victim impact statements from family members and a friend of the men.

Watch below (July 12, 2016): Nexen has announced it will be laying off more than 300 workers in the coming months. As Tom Vernon explains, this is directly related to an explosion at its Long Lake facility in January.

Click to play video: 'Nexen to lay off hundreds of workers in wake of January’s explosion' Nexen to lay off hundreds of workers in wake of January’s explosion
Nexen to lay off hundreds of workers in wake of January’s explosion – Jul 12, 2016

Below is the agreed statement of facts in the case.


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