Enbridge, a leading Canadian pipeline company has had to close its 345 000 bpd Athabasca pipeline, which runs through Alberta, after a second leak in less than two weeks was discovered.
The leak was found to be coming from a piece of equipment at a pumping station and is believed to have resulted in approximately 1400 bbls of oil being spilled near the town of Elk Point.
The pipeline was restarted after the pumping station was closed and bypassed. However, the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) ordered that the line be closed. According a spokesman for the Board, Darin Barter, “There’s no running water, there’s no standing water in the area, so there is really no water sources … There’s no domestic water wells in the area. It’s not going to penetrate the soil that quickly because it is heavy crude oil.”
Earlier in the month, approximately 3000 bbls of oil leaked into the Red Deer river, also in Alberta, from a pipeline owned by Plains All American.
Enbridge is currently in talks with the ERCB over when the pipeline is to be restarted. According to an Enbridge spokesman, Graham White, the company expects the pipeline to reopen in a matter of days.
Edited from various sources by David Bizley