Following Husky oil spill, Saskatchewan reviews pipeline rules

Husky oil spill
The Husky oil spill last July in Saskatchewan happened when a buckle in the pipeline, formed after ground movement over many years on a slope of land, cracked. CBC News photo.

Husky oil spill forced Prince Albert, North Battleford to find temporary alternative water sources

The government of Saskatchewan is reviewing its regulations and engineering standards for pipelines around bodies of water following the Husky oil spill last summer.

The spill that occurred east of Lloydminster dumped oil into the North Saskatchewan, forcing the cities of Prince Albert and North Battleford to temporarily find new sources of drinking water.

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According to the province’s ministry of economy, 225 cubic metres of oil blended with distillates leaked into the river, 60 per cent of the spill was contained on land.

 

“Since the Husky spill in July, we’ve recognized that we need to do better when it comes to preventing incidents,” Energy and Resources Minister Dustin Duncan said.

The Saskatchewan government says it will strengthen regulatory standards for pipelines located around water to deal with risks like slope movement and it will review the design of existing pipelines that are near water.

An investigation into the July spill by the government has concluded that a buckle in the pipeline cracked, causing the spill after ground movement on a slope of land over many years.

Last Thursday, the Alberta Energy Regulator was informed of a Husky oil crude spill west of the Alberta foothills town of Bragg Creek.  It is estimated that 25,000 litres of crude leaked in the spill.

Cleanup in the southwestern Alberta spill is expected to be finished by next week and reclamation work will begin soon after.

Pipeline safety is a sensitive issue in Canada with fierce opposition from environmental and indigenous groups while oil rich provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan view pipelines as critical in the transportation of crude to tidewater.