Canada oil pipeline spills 200,000 liters on aboriginal land

Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:17pm EST
 
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By Ethan Lou and Alastair Sharp

CALGARY, Alberta/TORONTO (Reuters) - A pipeline in the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan has leaked 200,000 liters (52,834 gallons) of oil in an aboriginal community, the provincial government said on Monday.

The government was notified late in the afternoon on Friday, and 170,000 liters have since been recovered, said Doug McKnight, assistant deputy minister in the Ministry of the Economy, which regulates pipelines in Saskatchewan.

Oil pipelines are viewed by the oil-rich provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan as a critical lifeline to move crude to the coast, but they have drawn fierce opposition from environmental and indigenous groups.

The spill came seven months after another major incident in Saskatchewan, in which a Husky Energy Inc pipeline leaked 225,000 liters into a major river and cut off the drinking water supply for two cities.

It was not immediately clear how the current incident happened or which company owns the underground pipeline that leaked the oil.

McKnight said Tundra Energy Marketing Inc, which has a line adjacent to the spill, is leading cleanup efforts.

"There are a number of pipes in the area," he told reporters in Regina. "Until we excavate it, we won't know with 100-percent certainty which pipe."

Tundra, a privately held unit of Canadian grain trading and energy conglomerate James Richardson and Sons Ltd, released a statement saying it is cooperating with all levels of government and will ensure "the affected land is restored appropriately."   Continued...

 
The site of an oil pipeline spill is seen in an aerial photograph provided by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, near Stoughton, Saskatchewan, Canada taken on January 23, 2017.    INAC/Handout via Reuters