Pembina Oil Spill In Alberta Draws Energy Resources Conservation Board Investigation

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THE CANADIAN PRESS -- SWAN HILLS, Alta. - Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board is investigating a spill from an oil pipeline 200 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

The pipeline is owned and operated by the Pembina Pipeline Corporation (TSX:PPL).

An official at the Calgary-based company says 1,300 barrels of oil were released on Tuesday into an area of muskeg and a creek about five kilometres north of the Town of Swan Hills. But the company and the ERCB also say the exact size of the spill was under investigation.

"We take this kind of incident extremely seriously," Pembina President Bob Michaleski said Wednesday in a release.

"We are highly committed to the safety of the communities in which we operate and to the environment, and undertook immediate action to minimize any potential impact to the land and waterways once we confirmed the spill."

A company official says the Moosehorn gathering pipeline has been shut, the spill has been contained and clean-up crews have been sent to the area.

An Alberta Health Services official said the spill hadn't caused any immediate concerns or complaints from people who live in the region.

The shut-down order came after company monitors noticed a volume imbalance in the line on Tuesday morning. Workers later confirmed the spill.

Pembina says it is making arrangements to truck oil that is normally sent through the pipeline.

The spill is the second in northwest Alberta this year. On April 28, Plains Midstream Canada's Rainbow pipeline spilled 28,000 barrels of crude.

The Rainbow line remains shut as the company continues to recover the spilled oil and workers clean soil and remove oil-stained vegetation. There is no word on when the pipeline will reopen.

On May 9, Enbridge Inc. (TSX: ENB) reported a spill of four barrels of crude from its pipeline near Wrigley, N.W.T. The company later revised that estimate to up to 1,500 barrels. The line reopened later that month.

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