Small pipeline spill went undetected for three weeks by Reid Southwick, July 13, 2017, Calgary Herald
A small pipeline spill that sent crude oil into a creek and beaver ponds southwest of Edmonton, where dozens of animals were later found dead, went undetected for nearly three weeks. [The usual “Best in Class” practice by oil and gas in Canada?]
Journey Energy Inc. said Thursday in its latest update on cleanup efforts that two ruptures released 10 cubic metres of oil and water, the equivalent of 62 barrels, last month.
The company said it has removed most of the spilled oil and doesn’t expect to recover much more.
Journey said it first detected a leak south of Winfield, a central Alberta town, on June 28. The next day, a larger spill was found south of the initial site where crude oil had flowed into a creek and several beaver ponds.
The company said Thursday it believes the second rupture occurred around June 10, nearly three weeks before it was detected.
Dozens of small fish, two voles, which are small rodents, and a toad have been found dead near the spill site.
Other animals, including beavers and amphibians, were trapped alive, assessed and released.
Journey says tests have largely found hydrocarbons have not moved a “significant distance” downstream from the spill site.
But some water samples taken early this month contained elevated levels of certain hydrocarbons even in parts of the creek that were not stained by oil.
Cleanup crews have spent the past few weeks removing spilled oil and water by hand and with vacuum trucks, and hauling it away for disposal.
Last week, the company said in a daily cleanup report that crews had dug up the affected pipeline at the two leak sites and sent sections to a third-party specialist for analysis on what caused the failures.
Journey reported a total of four pipeline ruptures in 2016 and 2015, including a major spill. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
AER spokesperson Cassie Naas:
“The second was larger, and entered a waterbody,” she said, describing it as a small, unnamed creek. “That water body unfortunately was home to some fish and other wildlife.”
Can’t “Best in Class” AER say the oil and gas company killed fish and wildife? ]