Canadian Natural Resources slapped with $125,000 penalty for 2010 oil spill

CALGARY – Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ) is facing $125,000 in penalties nearly five years after an oil spill in northwestern Alberta.

The sentence was handed down in provincial court last Friday after the company pleaded guilty to an offence under the Fisheries Act.

In a release, Environment Canada says $113,000 will go toward its Environmental Damages Fund and the remaining $12,000 will be paid as a fine. Canadian Natural has also been added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.

In May 2010, about 6,000 litres of crude spilled from an emergency overflow tank at a Canadian Natural site near the town of Spirit River.

Of that, 750 litres entered Sneddon Creek, a tributary to the Peace River.

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