NATHAN VANDERKLIPPECALGARY— From Thursday's Globe and MailPublished Wednesday, May. 30, 2012 5:13PM EDTLast updated Thursday, May. 31, 2012 9:36AM EDT
A huge pipeline spill has released 22,000 barrels of oil and water into muskeg in the far northwest of Alberta.
The spill ranks among the largest in North America in recent years, a period that has seen a series of high-profile accidents that have undermined the energy industry’s safety record. The Enbridge Inc. pipeline rupture that leaked oil near Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, for example, spilled an estimated 19,500 barrels.
The most recent spill was discovered May 19 emanating from a pipeline belonging to Pace Oil & Gas Ltd.(PCE-T3.14-0.35-10.03%), a small energy company that produces about 15,000 barrels a day, roughly half of that oil.
The spill has yet to be contained, although “we’re very close,” Pace chief executive Fred Woods said in an interview Wednesday.
The spill took place roughly 20 kilometres southeast of Rainbow Lake, which is 165 km south of the Northwest Territories border. It came from a pipeline used for water injection, carrying an emulsion that was roughly 70 per cent water and 30 per cent oil.
As with many recent pipeline accidents, Calgary-based Pace did not detect a problem, but was informed of the leak by another company after the spill was spotted from an aircraft. The spill, which killed one duck, now covers 4.3 hectares. Mr. Woods declined comment on how long it was leaking before detection. >>>MORE<<<
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