Saskatchewan

Husky Energy granted 30-day extension to file report on cause of oil spill

The government of Saskatchewan has given Husky Energy a 30-day extension to file its report on the cause of the oil spill that dumped more than 200,000 litres of oil into the North Saskatchewan River in July.

Sask. government says final report now due by Nov. 21

Crews work to clean up an oil spill on the North Saskatchewan river near Maidstone, Sask., on Friday July 22, 2016. Husky Energy said between 200,000 and 250,000 litres of crude oil and other material leaked into the river. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

The government of Saskatchewan has given Husky Energy a 30-day extension to file its report on the cause of the oil spill that dumped more than 200,000 litres of oil into the North Saskatchewan River in July.

Under provincial regulations, the company had 90 days to submit reports and determine the cause of the pipeline breach. Husky said reports on the failed pipe as well as some of the affected lands are still being prepared by third-party engineering firms.

The company said those reports will be used to pinpoint the cause of the spill.

Doug MacKnight, an assistant deputy minister with the province's ministry of the economy, said it is rare for a company to ask for such an extension.

However, MacKnight said the spill itself was also uncommon and requires a lot of work to investigate.

"This is a major piece of scientific and engineering research that has to go on," MacKnight told reporters during a conference call on Friday afternoon. "The pipe is located on a slope [and] there's a lot of science in terms of investigating the metallurgic failure."

The provincial government said Husky must now file its final report on the incident before Nov. 21. 

Husky told the government in its latest update that it has recovered 93 per cent of the oil that spilled.

Ash Olesen, with the provincial environment ministry, said the shoreline will be checked again in the spring.

"If in fact there is anything to be retrieved we will be actively requiring Husky to do so," he said. "It is obviously everyone's expectation and hope that ... given 93 per cent has been recovered, there isn't much to see."

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