Canada's Alberta fines Murphy Oil for role in 2015 spill

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Canada’s oil-rich province of Alberta has fined a local subsidiary of U.S.-based Murphy Oil Corp C$172,500 ($130,031) for its role in a 9,000-barrel spill in 2015 that went undetected for more than six weeks, the provincial energy regulator said on Tuesday.

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) said Murphy Oil Company failed to report the release of condensate and failed to “conduct remedial actions,” which caused damage to public lands near Peace River in northwestern Alberta.

The 2015 spill went undetected from Jan. 15 to March 1, the AER said.

The company, whose parent is headquartered in El Dorado, Arkansas, also failed to take reasonable steps to ensure its system was capable of early leak detection and failed to evaluate its pipeline, the regulator said.

“Murphy has since repaired the pipeline and continues to remediate the impacted area,” AER said.

Oil pipelines are viewed by the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan as a critical lifeline to move export their crude, but they have drawn fierce opposition from environmental and indigenous groups.

Reporting by Ethan Lou; Editing by Alan Crosby