Alberta pipeline spills 60,000 litres of crude oil into muskeg

Watch above: Clean up efforts are underway following a major oil spill in northern Alberta. 

RED EARTH CREEK, Alta. – The Alberta Energy Regulator says close to 60,000 litres of crude oil have spilled into muskeg in the province’s north.

An incident report by the regulator states that a mechanical failure was reported Thursday at a Canadian Natural Resources Limited pipeline approximately 27 kilometres north of Red Earth Creek.

READ MORE: Crude Awakening

The report says there are no reports of impact to wildlife and that a cleanup has begun.

Red Earth Creek is over 350 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

Carrie Rosa, a spokeswoman for the regulator, says officials have been delayed reaching the scene due to poor weather in the last few days.

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“As soon as it’s safe for them to travel to site they will be there and they’ll investigate the incident,” Rosa said Sunday morning.

No one from Canadian Natural Resources could be reached on Sunday for comment.

On Monday, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. said it’s working with the Alberta Energy Regulator to find out what caused the spill.

“Cleanup activities are well advanced, with the majority of the work complete,” CNRL spokeswoman Julie Woo said in an emailed statement.

“We will continue to ensure that we mitigate and manage any environmental impact.”

“Canadian Natural is working together with the Alberta Energy Regulator while we continue to investigate the cause of the incident.”

Woo says the leak has stopped and most of the product was contained on the company’s land, with some ending up along a nearby pipeline right-of-way.

In April, a pipeline owned by the company spilled 70,000 litres of oil and processed water in the region. The AER said at the time that the spill northwest of Slave Lake was not near any people,
water or wildlife.

READ MORE: Groups demand probe amid CNRL bitumen leak 

The AER is also investigating bitumen leaks at CNRL’s Primrose oilsands project in eastern Alberta, which were discovered during the spring of 2013. Some 1.2 million litres of a bitumen-water
emulsion have been recovered.

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*NOTE: This article was originally published on Nov. 29. It was updated on Dec. 1 with comment from CNRL.

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