Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Companies Raise Concerns That New AER Reporting Could Be Misleading

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Companies Raise Concerns That New AER Reporting Could Be Misleading

Article excerpt

Companies raise concerns over AER report


CALGARY - Some oil and gas companies are raising concerns that information in a new reporting program launched by the Alberta Energy Regulator could be misleading.

The regulator launched the pipeline performance report web page Tuesday in an effort to make it easier for the public to see which oil and gas companies are falling behind on pipeline safety, and to push companies to improve.

But in laying out the data in simple charts and rankings, some companies fear the information will be misinterpreted.

"There's information that can't just be looked at from a snapshot," said Walter Vrataric, CEO of Chinook Energy.

Chinook came in as having the worst rating of all operators last year with 52 incidents on a per 1,000-kilometre ratio, the common standard on reporting pipeline performance.

Vrataric said the company had one minor gas leak last year, but because it only had 19 kilometres of pipeline at the end of the year after selling off a long stretch, that single incident turned into an alarming statistic when converted to the standard per 1,000-kilometre ratio.

He said Chinook is completely supportive of increased transparency at the regulator, but that more effort needs to be done to make sure the data shows an accurate picture.

"As a public company punching from its back leg in a tough industry, where its seems like there's more forces working against industry than with industry, this is not the kind of stuff that I think is transparency, I think it's quite the opposite of that," said Vrataric.

Justin Robinson, a spokesman of Osum Production Corp., expressed similar concern about the information while supporting the overall push for transparency.

"I think it is the right thing to do, it's just that with smaller operators sometimes you need to pay attention to the context as well as the numbers," said Robinson. …

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