Alberta Energy Regulator says pipeline shut in after 500,000 litres of produced water leaks in northern Alberta

The Alberta Energy Regulator says cleanup efforts are underway in northwestern Alberta after a pipeline leaked approximately 500,000 litres of produced water into a low-lying wetland.

Global News has reached out to the AER for more details. The regulator previously told Global News that produced water is a byproduct of oil and gas development that “refers to water that is extracted with oil from reservoir formations.”

“The impact of produced water is extremely variable depending on the concentration of oil and whether the substance is ‘sweet’ or ‘sour,’” the regulator told Global News in 2019.

In an emailed statement to Global News, Husky Energy said the produced water release was discovered in the Rainbow Lake area during a daily inspection on Monday morning.

“Some of the water entered nearby muskeg,” a company spokesperson said. “The pipeline was immediately shut in and the Alberta Energy Regulator was notified.

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“Cleanup efforts are underway, including the use of pumps and vacuum trucks.”

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Husky said there have been “no observed impacts to wildlife and fencing is in place to keep wildlife from the area.”

“Husky’s first priority is the safety of its people, and the protection of the environment in the communities we operate in,” the spokesperson added. “We are undertaking a thorough investigation of this incident.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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