LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - A small leak at Canadian Natural Resources’ Primrose field in the Alberta oil sands continues to seep bitumen crude 10 days after it started, the head of the company said on Monday.
The Alberta Energy Regulator said last week that 27,000 litres of bitumen crude leaked underground on January 3 after a well casing failure at the CNR-operated field.
“There is a low rate of seepage,” Steve Laut, president of CNR, told Reuters on the sidelines of the TD Securities’ London Energy Conference on Monday.
“The seepage was caused by a wellbore failure. The investigation is well under way and the solution is well defined. We’re working to make sure these things don’t happen again.”
Laut said the field was seeping at about “one cubic metre squared per day” but that the company expected to be able to halt the leak shortly.
The seepage is not expected to have a sustained impact on production, Laut said.
The Primrose field was hit by a larger leak last summer that spilled about 1 million litres of heavy bitumen.
The cause of that leak remains under investigation by regulators.
Presenting at the conference, Laut said the company expects to increase its production by around 9 percent in 2014 to 711,000-757,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. About 75 percent of the firm’s production is oil.