Crossfield steer killed by sour gas release by Dan Healing, August 16, 2013, Calgary Herald
A wandering Texas longhorn steer who broke through a fence and rubbed up against the wrong piece of pipe has been killed by exposure to poisonous hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas. The incident was reported to the Alberta Energy Regulator on Aug. 5 and posted on its website. “A cow entered the pipeline riser enclosure and damaged a piece of aboveground piping,” says the report. “A small amount of sour gas was released and the animal was overcome by the H2S and died as a result.” The sour gas well seven kilometres north of Crossfield is operated by Taqa North Ltd., the Calgary-headquartered oil and gas company owned by Abu Dhabi National Energy Co.
“We did have a livestock incident,” confirmed Taqa spokesman Leroy McKinnon on Friday. “It breached the fenced area and went in and was actually rubbing up against the injection tubing so it actually broke through, which caused the release.” He said Taqa staff noticed the rotten egg smell and shut down the leaking line. The fence was fixed and operations were restored by the next day. The landowner was notified and is being compensated for the cow, McKinnen said, adding the company still has a good relationship with him. The landowner removed the carcass, he said. Livestock do occasionally cause problems in the field but McKinnon said it’s the first incident he’s heard of where a fatality resulted. Hydrogen sulphide occurs naturally in some natural gas formations and must be removed before the gas can be used.
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