Stephen Bart, vice president of crude oil operations for Plains Midstream Canada, said crews have been working since the company's control center received an alert about the leak Thursday night from its Rangeland pipeline system just north of Sundre, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
About 3,000 barrels of oil leaked into the Red Deer River and spread downstream to Gleniffer Lake and reservoir, the focus of containment efforts.
Bart said the pipeline wasn't flowing at the time of the release, "so the volume of the spill is relatively small."
He said the river also was flowing quickly at the time because of high rainfall, flushing most of the spill onto the lake, where it can be handled more effectively.
CBC said there's no health risk for those living downstream of the Gleniffer reservoir, which provides drinking water for more than 100,000 people in Alberta.