Pipeline spills crude oil, salt water near Slave Lake

Pipeline spills crude oil, salt water near Slave Lake
A pipeline spill north of Slave Lake, Alta. leaked over 300,000 litres of oil and saline into an unnamed water body on Aug. 29, where crews are now testing for chloride levels.Photo: Town of Slave Lake.

Hundreds of thousands of litres of crude oil and salinated produced water spilled into a northern Alberta waterbody late last month after a pipeline leaked north of Slave Lake.

According to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), 6,000 litres of crude and 300,000 litres of saline/produced water spilled from an Anterra Energy Inc. pipeline approximately 63 km north of Slave Lake, Alta. on Aug. 29.

While AER staff could not confirm the size of the surface area impacted by the spill, it did confirm the emulsion migrated off-lease into “two small unnamed ponds” of water nearby.

“AER staff are currently on site and are monitoring the company’s response and investigating the cause of the incident,” said Ryan Bartlett, public affairs advisor for the AER.

Bartlett said Anterra has crews currently on-site taking samples and removing chloride from the affected water, and has containment measures in place to minimize downstream impacts.

Data on chloride levels will be used to direct cleanup activities, Bartlett said.

So far, there have been no impacts to wildlife or human health reported, he added.

Calgary-based Anterra did not respond to requests for comment.

The Anterra breach follows another pipeline spill near the community of Balm, Alta. on Aug. 28. A pipeline belonging to Lightstream Resources dumped 20,000 litres of emulsion near the town, located approximately an hour southeast of Whitecourt.

According to the AER, that line has been shut in and the company is continuing with cleanup.

There have been no reported impacts to water or wildlife.

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