A Calgary company that refused Alberta Energy Regulator inspectors access to its Ponoka gas facility was fined $ 80,000.
Land Petroleum International Inc. was convicted under the provincial Oil and Gas Protection Act last month for obstructing an August 2018 inspection after a series of delays.
Provincial Court Judge Gordon Yake, in a written decision posted online Thursday, ordered the company to pay the $ 80,000 fine plus a 15 percent provincial surcharge of $ 12,000.
The company had proposed a fine of $ 40,000 plus the surcharge. The maximum fine allowed is $ 500,000.
During the trial, the court heard that an on-site staff member was asked to keep the facility locked after the AER announced that the inspectors would visit the facility the next day.
When the inspection team drove to the site the next morning, they received a call from Company President Bill Fung, who angrily told them he would not allow entry without a search warrant and RCMP assistance. When the inspectors arrived, they found the gates locked.
The group returned to the site two days later when they found the gate open and conducted a 90-minute inspection that found 22 violations. Details of these violations were not set out in court documents.
In its decision, Yake noted that the company had no prior record of violations or significant involvement with the regulator.
The AER announced in a press release that the system has since been sold and licensed to another operator.
The court withdrew the charges against Fung after he agreed to enter into a common law peace agreement.