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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Norwary's Statoil ASA faces charges in Canada of diverting water for use at its oil sands operations in northern Alberta, the province's government said on Thursday.
Alberta said the Norwegian state-owned oil company contravened parts of its water license and provided false or misleading information regarding water withdrawals at its facility near Conklin.
The province's environment ministry said in a statement 19 charges relate to separate incidents in 2008 through 2010. It did not specify the penalties the company could face.
The company is slated to appear in court in Edmonton on April 6. Peter Symons, a Statoil spokesman, the company is taking the charges seriously.
"We'll continue to take all the necessary steps to address the issues raised by Alberta Environment to ensure compliance," he said.
Symons said the charges relate to the company's winter drilling program at its northern Alberta oil sands leases.
Statoil said last month its Leismer Demonstration Project in the Athabasca oil sands has begun producing oil.
The Leismer project, approved to 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the first phase, is expected to ramp up to its rated capacity of 18,800 bpd within two years, pending approvals.
Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Frank McGurty