Red Deer’s emergency hazardous materials team responded to a small liquid petroleum gas leak on Monday morning at the Advantage Oil and Gas Ltd. gas compressor plant at the east end of 39th Street.
At about 7:50 a.m., a passing motorist spotted a vapour cloud and reported the leak at the facility on the city limits where sweet natural gas from eight well lines are compressed and processed.
Red Deer Emergency Services crews safely shut down the leak by about 9:15 a.m.
“I don’t think any of the houses were at risk. The volume of the leak and the pressure coming out, with the wind dissipating, there was no risk to the houses at all,” said fire chief Jack MacDonald at the scene near Devonshire.
Don Boyce, manager of health and safety with Advantage, said .48 cubic metres of gas was released out of the 78 cubic metre holding tank. Gas escaped from a valve on the truck loading line at the tank.
“The valve has been repaired. There’s no further issues. We’ll be doing a thorough investigation to find out the root cause of what initiated that failure at the valve,” Boyce said.
Liquefied petroleum gas, stored in the tank before it’s trucked off the site, is a mixture of hydrocarbon gases and is used as fuel in heating appliances and vehicles.
Other equipment on site was also going to be checked.
On Monday, the Energy Resources Conservation Board, which is involved in the investigation, gave Advantage the clearance to start back up.
Boyce said the plant is checked daily. Prior to the leak, it was checked at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
There have been no other leaks at the plant since Advantage took it over in the summer of 2001, he said.
MacDonald said it turned out to be a “relatively simple operation” but was initially declared a major hazmat emergency to ensure all the trucks and equipment were called to the scene and proper precautions were taken.
“A lot of hazmat incidents get out of hand when you don’t take precautions so we took the safe route. We took our time, made sure everyone knew what the plan was and made sure all the backup teams were ready and in place and then we went in,” MacDonald said.