The Canadian Press
STOUGHTON, Sask. – About 200,000 litres of crude oil has been spilled onto agricultural land in southeastern Saskatchewan after a pipeline leak.
The spill was detected Friday at a site 10 kilometres north of Stoughton in a low-lying area with a frozen slough.
Doug MacKnight, assistant deputy minister of Economy, says about 170,000 litres have been recovered so far.
“They’ll be removing cover, vacuuming up the oil and then eventually excavating the contaminated soils and taking them away for disposal,” MacKnight said late Monday afternoon.
MacKnight says the oil is not entering any creeks or streams.
“Right now, that’s the evidence on the ground, yes indeed. But, you know, until all the work’s done we won’t know a 100 per cent, but right now it looks like it’s been contained to the low area where the oil was discovered,” he said.
MacKnight says the government was notified about the spill on Friday, but details were only made public Monday when the volume of the spill became clear.
The land is part of the Ocean Man First Nation.
The Economy Ministry’s petroleum and natural gas division will oversee cleanup and pipeline repairs. MacKnight says the province has sent a pipeline engineer to the site, but it will take some time to determine the cause of the spill.
“The excavation, they expect to start on Wednesday to find the damaged pipe,” he said.
Tundra Energy Marketing is handling the cleanup, but MacKnight says there are several pipelines in the area and could not confirm that Tundra owns the pipeline that leaked.
“If it turns out it’s somebody else’s pipe, we’ll deal with it at that time, but the cleanup’s still going to proceed,” said MacKnight.
Tundra said in an email that “the source of the oil has not yet been determined, but as TEML owns a pipeline adjacent to the release, it has taken the lead in cleaning up the released oil.”
The company said it is co-operating with the affected parties to ensure that their concerns are addressed appropriately.
The spill is nearly the size of a leak in a Husky Energy (TSX:HSE) pipeline last July near Maidstone, Sask.
The Husky leak jeopardized the drinking water of thousands of people after about 225,000 litres of oil was spilled and about 40 per cent made it into the North Saskatchewan River.
The cities of North Battleford, Prince Albert and Melfort were forced to shut their intakes from the river and find other water sources for almost two months.
The company said it recovered about 210,000 litres of oil spilled before it wrapped up shoreline cleanup efforts in October.
Husky’s report into the spill said shifting ground was to blame for the pipeline burst.