Long Lake upgrader mothballed after January explosion Northeastern Alberta site had history of underperformance CNOOC Ltd.’s decision this week to idle part of its Long Lake oil-sands operation in Alberta comes after five years of problems cemented the site’s reputation as one of the most troubled projects in the region. Long Lake, which CNOOC first got involved with in 2011 as part of a takeover of heavily indebted Opti Canada Inc., has never reached its production capacity and has been plagued by accidents, including workers’ deaths, explosions and pipeline spills. The operation experienced cost overruns and underperformance before CNOOC gained complete ownership when it paid about C$15 billion in 2013 for Nexen Energy. The site in northeastern Alberta combines of steam-assisted extraction and upgrading that removes the impurities and converts the thick bitumen into synthetic crude. The upgrader’s small size and carbon footprint mean it’s costly to operate, said […]