Nexen apologizes for worker's death at Canada oil sands site

Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:43pm EST
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By Jeffrey Hodgson

TORONTO (Reuters) - Nexen Energy executives apologized on Saturday for an explosion at the company's Long Lake oil sands facility in Alberta that killed one employee, left another critically injured and shut down the site for an indefinite period.

Fang Zhi, who heads the unit of China's CNOOC Ltd, said the incident marked one of the darkest days in Nexen's history.

"Our thoughts are with the families," he told reporters in Calgary.

The company said the injured worker had been taken to the burn unit of a hospital in the provincial capital of Edmonton.

The explosion happened on Friday afternoon at the site south of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Ron Bailey, Nexen's senior vice-president of Canadian operations, said the facility was shut down as quickly as possible.

The company has also shut down its upgrader there and stopped its steam-assisted gravity drainage operation, resulting in a complete halt to production.