Shell Canada Reports Fire at Scotford Oil Sands Unit

Shell Canada confirmed an operational upset occurred at the Scotford Upgrader east of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta when a leak occurred on the residue hydroconversion unit, which upgrades bitumen into synthetic crude oil. There were no injuries reported and all personnel have been accounted for.

Strathcona County and Shell emergency personnel responded immediately. The fire was extinguished at about 5:00 pm, November 19, 2007 and the leak, which contains mostly hydrogen, some light hydrocarbons and some hydrogen sulphide, has been now been contained. While offsite levels are too low to be detected by monitoring equipment, some individuals may experience eye, nose and/or throat irritation. These effects are expected to be temporary and should subside quickly. Residents with health concerns should contact Capital Health at (780) 408-5465. Area residents are not required to leave their homes or evacuate.

A high flare and smoke are visible over the plant site as units are taken offline. Regulatory agencies have been notified and are on site.

All non-essential employees and contractors from the Shell Scotford refinery, chemical, upgrader and construction site were safely evacuated.

Shell is cooperating fully with regulatory agencies to determine the cause of the incident.