Husky oil spill: more than 2,000 pipelines in Saskatchewan database

There are more than 2,000 pipelines licensed to operate in Saskatchewan, according to the Ministry of the Economy — and the number shoots up when smaller flowlines are considered.

Smaller flowlines numbered 68,000 in 2011, auditor said

A series of booms were deployed this summer, to handle Husky's broken pipeline which leaked more than 200,000 litres of oil diluent into the North Saskatchewan River. The company called the break a "sudden, one-time event" caused in part by heavy rain along the south riverbank. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)
A map of oil and gas pipelines shows where gas (amber lines) and oil (red lines) is being transported across Saskatchewan. (Canadian Energy Pipeline Association)

There are more than 2,000 pipelines licensed to operate in Saskatchewan, according to the Ministry of the Economy — and the number shoots up when smaller flowlines are considered.

The ministry's database of licensed pipelines has 2,062 entries, most of them oil and gas pipelines. They range in length from a few metres to 291 kilometres.

A relatively small portion are for moving water, steam, carbon dioxide and other substances through the oil patch.

Husky oil pipeline 1 of hundreds in province 

Saskatchewan's pipelines have been on the public's mind lately after a massive oil spill on the North Saskatchewan River.

Prince Albert, North Battleford and other communities have declared local states of emergency and officials have scrambled to arrange drinking water for their citizens.

According to the Saskatchewan Auditor, in addition to pipelines, there were also another 68,000 flowlines in the province in 2011. They're narrow lines which are used to transport oil and gas from the wellhead to a storage or other facility. 

The number of flowlines is growing by up to 4,000 a year, the auditor said, suggesting the total in 2016 would be well over 70,000.

A network of pipelines in the Lloydminster area is in the area where the spill occurred. (CBC Graphics)