In the winter of 2017, Great Northern Bridgeworks partnered with Nexen Inc. to decommission 11 water pits used in their operations outside of Fort Nelson. These pits are used in drilling operations to store waste water that can later be removed without affecting the surrounding environment. Our teams worked tirelessly 24 hours per day to safely and effectively downsize these water pits over the course of two and a half months. With our expertise, Nexen was able to pack up the site leaving behind minimal remnants of their work.
Preparing for Oil Site Decommissioning in BC
Whenever GNB begins a new operation, we take time to assess the necessary components that will be needed from beginning to end. For this decommissioning project, we brought along 345 size excavators and prepared our teams for the harsh winter weather, running between -20 to -40°C over the course of our work. To ensure safety during operations, we had a foreman with four to five equipment operators onsite to oversee the work being done. Working in 12-hour split shifts, our teams went to work reducing the berm height until all 11 pits had been decommissioned.
The Challenge of Construction Projects in Northern Canada
While Canada is a land rich with resources, it comes with a unique climate and geography that makes it especially challenging for inexperienced teams to excel in. This water pit decommissioning project was conducted 150km outside of Fort Nelson, the nearest municipality. At such a range from major services and supplies, preparations are of the utmost importance to ensure that our teams can continue their work and meet their expected deadlines. For us, we take special care on these projects to keep our teams safe and well-equipped for the bitter cold of Canada’s north.