Imperial Cuts Canadian Oil Output on Pipe Outage, Official Says

Imperial Oil Ltd. (IMO) has reduced oil production near Norman Wells in Canada’s Northwest Territories after Plains Midstream Canada LP shut its Rainbow pipeline in Alberta, a local city official said.

Imperial is attempting to get certified two tanks to store oil that haven’t been used in years, in order to extend production another 10 days, said Ian Fremantle, the town manager. If the company doesn’t get the necessary certifications, storage space will run out by May 13, he said.

Norman Wells, a town of about 850 people, uses natural gas, a by-product from the oil production, for heating and cooking, according to Fremantle.

Jon Harding, a spokesman for Imperial, said the company ships crude oil on Plains’ Rainbow pipeline that was shut after a leak April 29. “We have access to storage at Norman Wells and have been using it since the Rainbow line was shut,” he said.

Harding declined to comment on whether production has been curtailed. The daily production capacity at Norman Wells is about 17,000 barrels a day, according to Harding.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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