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Saskatchewan Plagued with Fourth Oil Spill in 8 Months

Pipeline construction

A pipeline owned by Crescent Point Energy, and located in Saskatchewan, Canada, leaked approximately 630 barrels of oil emulsion on Tuesday, the fourth spill in Saskatchewan in eight months.

The incident occurred near the town of Pennant, and did not affect the wildlife or the water supplies used by the wildlife. Trent Stangl, a spokesman for Crescent Point said that the spill was contained to a slough in a farmer’s field, and that cleanup had been nearly completed by Wednesday.

The spill in Pennant comes on the heels of a July 20 spill by Husky Energy into the North Saskatchewan River. That spill was the third one in the area in a span of eight months. In the July 20 incident, over 50,000 gallons of oil and diluent were spilled near the North Saskatchewan River, and two cities had to shut down parts of their culinary water systems.

Husky representatives said that they are investigating the matter. The company conducts monthly electronic tests on the pipeline and inspects it every two years. The incidents are calling into question whether or not the province’s energy regulator is properly monitoring area pipelines.

Emily Eaton, a professor at Regina University who watches the industry commented: "In some ways, the oil industry in Saskatchewan has been given a free pass by the province…Pipelines seem to be a particularly under-regulated part of the industry.”

The economy ministry is in charge of energy regulation in the province. The entity told Reuters it has never inspected Husky’s 19-year-old pipeline. The auditor for Saskatchewan reported in 2012 that the economy ministry had no “documented processes to regulate existing pipelines.” Two years later, according to the auditor, that situation had remained unchanged.

Premier Brad Wall was in the area on Wednesday following a report by Husky that water conditions in the river are returning to the guidelines. Wall said that testing is being done to ensure that Husky’s report is accurate.

Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com

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  • Earl Richards on August 05 2016 said:
    This oil spill should have never been allowed to happen. The toxic, tar sands and the oil has to be upgraded to synthetic crude, before piping from the tar sands regions.

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