Drilling fluid dump results in charges

Two oilfield-related companies have been charged with releasing drilling fluids into a body of water near Rocky Mountain House.

Two oilfield-related companies have been charged with releasing drilling fluids into a body of water near Rocky Mountain House.

Devon Canada Corp., which is a operating subsidiary of Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN) and All-Can Engineering and Surveys Ltd., have been ordered to appear in Rocky provincial court on April 6 to enter a plea.

Ogho Ikhalo, a spokesman for Alberta Environment, said Monday that the companies were charged under the Water Act for two separate incidents where drilling fluid was released into a body of water located about 50 km west of Rocky.

Both are also alleged to have failed to provide information to Alberta Environment required under the Code of Practice for Watercourse Crossings.

The code outlines the rules companies must follow when pipelines cross a water body, Ikhalo said.

Alberta Environment launched an investigation in December 2009 after receiving reports detailing the release of drilling fluids into nearby creeks during the installation of a pipeline.

Devon Energy is among the largest U.S.-based independent natural gas and oil producers.

Based in Oklahoma City, the company’s operations are focused on North American onshore exploration and production. Devon is one of North America’s larger processors of natural gas liquids and owns natural gas pipelines and treatment facilities in many of the company’s producing areas.

The company is ranked among Fortune’s 500 largest corporations in America, and is also included on the publication’s 100 Best Companies to Work For and Most Admired Companies lists.

Devon Canada employs about 1,500 people in Calgary and in its Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan field operations. The company has approximately 5,000 employees worldwide.

All-Can caters to the oil and gas industry specializing in legal surveying of well sites and pipeline right of ways.

All-Can is based in Calgary and has seven field offices in Alberta including one in Red Deer.