Canada column for Sunday, July 26/15
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
There is growing concern in Canada’s oil patch about the safety of pipelines after a major rupture in northern Alberta.
A Nexen Energy pipeline leaked 13.1-million gallons of emulsion -- a mixture of bitumen, water and sand -- near Fort McMurray.
Nexen senior vice president Ron Bailey said it is believed the leak occurred between June 29 and July 15 when a contractor discovered it near the Long Lake oil sands facility.
Greenpeace Canada environmentalist Mike Hudema said for the leak to go undetected for up to two weeks and discovered by chance is cause for alarm.
The pipeline was installed only last year and a warning system didn't detect the leak.
“It’s disheartening to see the site and it’s disappointing that this has happened,” said Nexen Energy CEO Fang Zhi.
“Our focus as of now is ensuring the safety of our workers on the site, minimizing whatever impact on the environment and on the wildlife, as well as understanding the root causes of this incident through investigations,” he added.
“Warning bells should be going off for Canada’s premiers right now about the dangers they are bringing to their communities if new pipelines are built, because that’s what they’re calling for with the Canadian Energy Strategy,” Hudema said.