Pipeline spills about 400,000 litres, some enters North Saskatchewan River

Pipeline spills about 400,000 litres, some enters North Saskatchewan River

CALGARY — Contaminated water that leaked from an oilfield pipeline on Christmas Day has entered the North Saskatchewan River but has had no detectable impact on it, says a spokesman for Calgary-based oil and gas producer ARC Resources Ltd.

The spill was reported by a local landowner at about 2 p.m. last Friday, said Sean Calder, ARC’s vice-president of production, in an interview on Tuesday.

“We had guys on site within about an hour and then the pipeline was shut in by 4 p.m., I believe,” he said.

He said the leaked produced water flowed into an unnamed creek and then into the North Saskatchewan River, a glacier-fed major waterway that flows east through Edmonton and into central Saskatchewan, where it joins with the South Saskatchewan River and eventually flows into Hudson Bay.

“All of our testing to date shows there’s no impact to the North Saskatchewan at all,” Calder said.

“We sampled it as soon as we got there and there’s no sign of any impact and no impact to wildlife at this time.”

The Alberta Energy Regulator said on its website the spill is estimated at about 400 cubic metres (400,000 litres or 2,500 barrels) of salty produced water.

It says the spill took place near Drayton Valley, a community about 130 kilometres southwest of Edmonton, adding the line has been isolated and cleanup is underway by the company and its environmental consultants.

AER spokeswoman Cara Tobin confirmed Tuesday that no contaminants from the spill have been identified in the North Saskatchewan, which she said is about 12 kilometres from the pipeline spill site.

The unnamed creek wasn’t thought to be fish-bearing, but fish have been found living there, she added, which means the company must do more to mitigate effects from the spill. She said AER staff are on-site and continuing to work with the company.

“Produced water” is water that is separated at surface from the oil and natural gas from a well. It is often contaminated with salt and oil or other substances.

Calder said the water that leaked contained relatively low levels of salt and other contaminants. He said it was being transported to a site where it would be reinjected into a producing underground formation as part of a waterflood enhanced oil recovery operation.

In November, ARC Resources reported third quarter production of 158,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, of which about 80 per cent was natural gas and 20 per cent petroleum liquids, and announced a 2021 capital budget of about $400 million.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 29, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ARX)

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press

Pipeline

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Many students and staff at St. Joseph High School are in COVID-19 quarantine. (File photo by JeffAdvocate staff)
St. Joseph High School students return to at-home learning today

Majority of students under COVID-19 quarantine

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. Trump is en route to his Mar-a-Lago Florida Resort. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Supreme Court ends Trump emoluments lawsuits

Outcome leaves no judicial opinions on the books

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Military to support vaccination efforts in northern Ontario Indigenous communities

Canadian Armed Forces to support vaccine efforts in 32 communities of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A Shell logo is seen at a petrol station in London on January 20, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Kirsty Wigglesworth
Shell buys European electric car charging firm ubitricity

Experts say easier access to charging facilities key to successful rollout of electric vehicles

FILE— In this Feb. 23, 2019, file photo, Vashti Cunningham poses for photographers after winning the women’s high jump final at the USA Track & Field Indoor Championships in New York. Cunningham is one of the athletes who will be competing in the American Track League, which opens a four-week-long series on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021 in an indoor setting at the University of Arkansas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez. File)
Back on track: Competing, not cash, lures big names to meet

American Track League begins a four-week indoor series at the University of Arkansas

Eugene Levy, left, and his son Dan Levy accept the Best Comedy Series Award for ‘“Schitt’s Creek” at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on Sunday, March 13, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Dan Levy to make ‘Saturday Night Live’ hosting debut on Feb. 6

‘Schitt’s Creek’ co-creator to host show

Toronto Maple Leafs' Alexander Kerfoot, centre, tries to get the puck past Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom, right, as Noah Hanifin looks on during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Morgan Reilly’s three assists lifts Maple Leafs to 3-2 win over Flames

Leafs 3 Flames 2 CALGARY — Morgan Reilly’s three assists helped the… Continue reading

Green Bay Packers' Adrian Amos (31) reacts after intercepting a pass intended for Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Mike Evans during the second half of the NFC championship NFL football game in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Road warriors: Bucs win 31-26 at Green Bay, reach Super Bowl

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ road… Continue reading

People arrive to be tested for COVID-19 at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, January 24, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Too soon to know if Canada’s COVID-19 case decline will continue, Tam says

MONTREAL — It’s still too soon to know whether the recent downward… Continue reading

Most Read