Leaking pipeline soaks field

Leaking pipeline soaks field by Lana Michelin, August 23, 2012, Red Deer Advocate
Another environmental cleanup is underway in Central Alberta after nearly 2,000 barrels of mostly contaminated water from a leaking pipeline soaked a canola field east of Red Deer. The Energy Resources Conservation Board revealed on Wednesday that it’s investigating the latest pipeline break after about 1,900 barrels (or 300,000 litres) were released from a Penn West Exploration line on Tuesday onto private farmland about 10 km east of Red Deer, near Joffre. According to ERCB spokesman Darin Barter, about 97 per cent of this spill is contaminated water, while three percent is oil. But Penn West’s manager of government and industry relations, Greg Moffatt, believes there’s hardly any oil in the spill; “It’s 99.9 per cent water.” The water could contain some hydrocarbon contamination, however, as it was naturally present in an oil formation and was being moved along the pipeline in order to be disposed of, said Moffatt. The tainted water was slated to be reinjected into a non-producing well. Moffatt maintains the leaked liquid was tested and found not to be too saline. But the full extent of environmental damage hasn’t yet been assessed. … “We’ll remove some soil if that’s what’s needed to return the canola field to production.” … This is the latest in a series of pipeline spills this year. Earlier this summer, about 230,000 litres of heavy crude oil spilled from a pumping station on an Enbridge Inc. pipeline onto farmland near Elk Point, Alta., northeast of Edmonton. Before that, nearly 800,000 litres of oil spilled from a Pace Oil & Gas Ltd. well about 200 kms from the Northwest Territories border. The Plains Midstream Canada break in June involved 160,000 to 480,000 litres of oil leaking from a pipeline that ruptured beneath the Red Deer River near Sundre. Environmental groups are calling for an expansive look at pipeline safety in Alberta. But Barter called so many pipeline problems “an anomaly . . . It’s not typical.”

[Refer also to ‘Fracking brine’ Gas-well waste full of radium

North Dakota Turns Blind Eye to Dumping of Fracking Waste in Waterways and Farmland, Releases of drilling and fracking waste, which is often laced with carcinogenic chemicals, have wiped out aquatic life in streams and wetlands 

Toxic Wastewater Dumped in Streets and Rivers at Night: Gas Profiteers Getting Away With Shocking Environmental Crimes, Allan Shipman was found guilty of illegally dumping millions of gallons of natural gas drilling wastewater. But he’s part of a much bigger problem ]

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