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Pipeline Leak Spills Crude in North Saskatchewan River

Canadian media are quoting oil and gas company Husky Energy as having told authorities that a leak from a pipeline has spilled between 200,000 and 250,000 litres of crude into the North Saskatchewan River. The leak has now been stopped with the pipeline shut down.

The company then deployed an emergency team and contained the spill with berms. The town nearest to the leak is Maidstone, about 220 km northwest of Saskatoon. Currently, the company and the authorities are building another berm downstream. Samples form the water are being taken regularly, and cleaning efforts are underway in hopes of containing the spill before it reaches the town of North Battleford, which draws its water from this river.

A spokesman for Husky Energy was quoted by CBC as saying the pipeline carried heavy crude from Husky’s fields to the company’s processing facility in Lloydminster. The heavy crude was mixed with a diluent, a hydrocarbon to ease the flow of the heavy crude.

Husky Energy is set to announce its second-quarter earnings results today. Analysts expect it to book a loss of US$0.20 per share. Like its peers, the Canadian company has been battling the fallout of the oil price crisis, selling assets and suspending its dividend earlier this year. Now, according to some observers, the company may restart dividend payments. Over the first half of the year, Husky sold US$1.14 billion worth of pipelines, plus assets in southwestern Saskatchewan worth US$454 million and a portfolio of royalty-carrying land property worth US$124 million.

Earlier this month, the company reported a new partnership with two other firms, which generated US$1.7 billion in proceeds. The partnership, called Husky Midstream Limited Partnership, includes Husky with 35 percent, Hong Kong-based Power Assets Holdings with 48.75 percent, and Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings with 16.25 percent. The new entity will operate some Husky’s midstream assets in the region of Lloydminster.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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