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Conoco given protection order after Alberta release

Pipeline failure in west-central Alberta released about 2,300 barrels of product.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
Release from a pipeline in west-central Alberta province migrated to an area creek (not pictured), Conoco Phillips confirmed. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
Release from a pipeline in west-central Alberta province migrated to an area creek (not pictured), Conoco Phillips confirmed. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

EDMONTON, Alberta, June 15 (UPI) -- An Alberta regulator issued an environmental protection order to Conoco Phillips after a leak from a natural gas plant soiled a nearby waterway.

The Alberta Energy Regulator ordered Conoco to contain and prevent the spread of an ultra-light form of oil called condensate from the company's Resthaven gas plant. The company confirmed some of the release had spread to an area creek.

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The spill volume was estimated at 2,300 barrels.

The company confirmed the release was from a failure of a pipeline, which was shut down as Conoco enacted an emergency response plan.

"We have deployed over 150 responders to the site with equipment to contain the release and mitigate any environmental impact," the company said.

The release was confirmed about 40 miles from Grand Cache in west-central Alberta, near a range for endangered caribou. Conoco said wildlife barriers are in place to keep animals out of the contaminated area.

There are no residents living in the immediate area so there is no threat to the public from the release.

The AER last issued a similar order in August against Nexen Energy because of problems related to pipeline maintenance and monitoring at its Long Lake oil sands facility. More than 95 pipelines were closed temporarily as a result of the suspension order.

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Alberta is still coping with wildfires that idled around 1 million barrels per day in oil production. Though fires continue to burn, provincial officials said the rebuilding process is underway in the Fort McMurray region of Alberta.

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