200,000 litres of oil from pipeline spills near Stoughton, Sask.

A pipeline leak has spilled about 200,000 litres of oil near Stoughton, Sask. The breach occurred on First Nations land about 140 kilometres southeast of Regina.

Saskatchewan government was notified of pipeline breach on Friday

Doug MacKnight of the province's Ministry of the Economy said the pipeline is on reserve land belonging to the Ocean Man First Nation. He said it's not clear how long land reclamation will take. (Radio-Canada)

About 200,000 litres of oil spilled near Stoughton, Sask., last week, the biggest pipeline breach in the province since the Husky Oil spill last summer.

It happened on First Nations land near Stoughton, about 140 kilometres southeast of Regina. The spill covered an approximately 20-metre radius.
Some 200,000 litres of oil has spilled near Stoughton, Sask., the provincial government said Monday. (Government of Saskatchewan)

The provincial government was notified of the spill on Friday evening "as soon as the leak was detected," a spokesperson from the Premier's office said. Reporters were told Monday afternoon.

The pipeline was shut down when the breach was discovered, and the spill is fully contained, the spokesperson said. The source of the leak is not yet known. 

The oil covered agricultural land but did not enter any water sources, the government said. The site was described as a low-lying area with a frozen slough.

The spill has not affected air quality or wildlife as of yet, the government said.

The cleanup, led by Calgary-based Tundra Energy Marketing Inc., began on Saturday. As of Monday, 170,000 litres of oil had been recovered, the government said.

Doug MacKnight, assistant deputy minister with the Ministry of the Economy's petroleum and natural gas division, said there are multiple pipelines in the area of the leak. Until the site is excavated Wednesday, it will not be known which one is responsible. However, the Tundra-operated pipeline is thought to be the source. 

Reclamation work

Chief Connie Big Eagle of the Ocean Man First Nation visited the site last weekend. Representatives from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada have taken the federal lead in the response.

The spill involved 200 cubic metres of oil, or about 1,260 barrels of oil. (Google Maps)

"The first phase of getting the oil out of there should happen fairly quickly, but how long it'll take to bring it back, that's some reclamation work that's going to have to get done," MacKnight said. 

Typically the company operating the pipeline is required to remediate and restore the land back to its original state, MacKnight said. Any compensation would have to be discussed between the federal government, the company operating the pipeline and the band.

The spill comes seven months after a 225,000-litre Husky oil spill, in which some entered the North Saskatchewan River. 

It is unclear if there has been an inspection done on the pipeline in recent months, MacKnight said. If there had been any inspection, the responsibility would be company's, he added.