Nexen's Balzac Crossfield Expansion project team was committed to demonstrating that the project was viable and achievable through careful planning and extensive community consultation.
In 2006, Nexen’s Canadian Oil and Gas division undertook an ambitious strategy to license 15 new sour gas wells and five new pipelines within existing Nexen gas operations east of the Balzac gas processing plant. The emergency planning zones for these wells and pipelines would include a portion of the city of Calgary and would directly impact more than 600 rural residences located adjacent to the city’s northeast boundary.
Balzac Crossfield Expansion Public Consultation
Recent negative media coverage regarding sour gas development, drilling and poor community consultation practices created a negative atmosphere, and other local applications presented to the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) were either withdrawn or denied.
The Balzac Crossfield Expansion project team was committed to demonstrating that such a project was viable and achievable through careful planning and consideration of the needs of all stakeholders. The following is a summary of Nexen’s extensive community consultation for the Balzac Crossfield Expansion:
- 28 months of ongoing community consultation involving local governments, residents, businesses, emergency responders, regulatory bodies and other key parties;
- Three community open houses were hosted by the Nexen project team to explain the project and to understand and address individual and community concerns;
- A new stakeholder management system was developed to record stakeholder contacts, communication, issues and resolution of concerns;
- Nexen representatives visited more than 600 residences;
- Monthly BalCAP, a Balzac Community Advisory Panel, updates;
- Community newsletters/updates delivered to residents
In January 2009, the ERCB granted Nexen unrestricted approval for its Balzac Crossfield Expansion application.
“Nexen’s operating record together with a transparent public consultation process offering full disclosure about the project played a tremendous role in achieving unrestricted approval for the Balzac Crossfield Expansion program,” said Marvin Romanow, President and CEO, Nexen Inc. “The success of this project is a testament to Nexen’s values and beliefs, high standards, and dedicated staff.”