500,000 litres of produced salt water leaks from pipeline in northern Alberta

A Calgary-based energy company says a pipeline has been shut down after it was found to have leaked an estimated 500,000 litres of produced salt water.

In a news release issued on behalf of NuVista Energy Ltd. on Thursday, Peak Communicators said the pipeline had been “shut down and isolated” and that “there have been no injuries.”

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“This produced water primarily came to surface at the facility and a portion of it mixed with rainwater and migrated offsite along a ditch and low-lying area north of the facility,” the news release said. “Preliminary results suggest the spill has covered portions of an area approximately 400 metres by 600 metres.

“Personnel and equipment are now working to skim off any contaminated fluid for safe offsite disposal.”

READ MORE: Produced water spill prompts AER to order energy company to suspend activity at affected well

Watch below: Some Global News videos about pipeline leaks. 

According to NuVista Energy, staff identified a possible leak on Monday through the company’s pipeline leak monitoring and detection system. It was believed to be about 70 kilometres south of Grande Prairie, on a pipeline that runs from a NuVista gas facility in the Bilbo field to a nearby disposal well.

“The pipeline was immediately shut down and NuVista activated our emergency response plan,” Thursday’s news release said. “The leak is located where the pipeline runs underground near the centre of the facility.

“The Alberta Energy Regulator and local stakeholders were notified.”

Global News has reached out to both the AER and NuVista Energy for more details.

“Our top priority is to ensure the safety of people, protection of the environment, and fish and wildlife,” Jonathan Wright, president and CEO of NuVista Energy, said in a statement. “We will ensure a full and proper cleanup and will investigate to ensure learnings and to avoid any recurrence.”

The company said environmental consultants have been brought in to provide technical support for the response to the spill and for remediation efforts.

On its website, NuVista Energy describes itself as an “oil and natural gas company actively engaged in the exploration for, and the development and production of, oil and natural gas reserves in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.”