Saskatoon

New Saskatchewan pipeline leak spills oil and water mix into farmer's field

The Saskatchewan government has confirmed another pipeline spill in the province, this time 100,000 litres of mixed oil and water on a farm near Swift Current.

Crescent Point Energy leak happened near Swift Current

Another pipeline leak is being reported in Saskatchewan. This time it is a Crescent Point Energy pipeline near Swift Current. (Reuters)

Saskatchewan's largest oil producer Crescent Point Energy is investigating the cause of a pipeline spill of some 630 barrels of oil and water this week on a farm northwest of Swift Current.

It was a small confined spill.- Neil Smith, Crescent Point Energy

The Crescent Point Energy pipeline spill happened Tuesday near the village of Pennant.

"Most of the spill is cleaned up," said the company's chief operating officer Neil Smith.

"A couple of nights ago … we had three inches of rain overnight, so that slowed down some of the recovery operations, but we are pretty well done. It's just the last bit of the cleanup now."

The leak happened on a short section of pipeline (about 1.2 kilometres) running from a collection point to another facility that separates the oil and water.

Crescent Point's monitoring equipment did not detect a change in flow rate or pressure in the line. Instead, the company was alerted to the leak by another crew in the field inspecting its own facilities.

"They responded immediately," said Laurie Pushor, deputy minister of economy. "It is very common for field operators to share information when it is seen."

Smith said the pipeline may have been leaking "a day, two days or less, but that's speculation right now."

This spill by volume, about half the size of the recent Husky Energy pipeline spill into the North Saskatchewan River, is less of a threat to the ecosystem.

"It was a small confined spill to an immediate area," said Smith.

The Crescent Point pipeline leak happened in a farmer's field, and the oil emulsion consisting mainly of water settled in a small low spot where it could be easily contained. The government confirmed that the spill did not come near water that has fish or is used for drinking, and there is no risk to wildlife.

Smith said that Crescent Point is looking into why the pipeline failed and why its automated leak detection systems did not alert the company.  

"We take the health and safety of our workers, of our community, of our environment very seriously."

Crescent Point Energy produces more than 120,000 barrels of oil a day in Saskatchewan.

now