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Cleanup continues at Nexen oil spill site in northern Alberta

WATCH ABOVE: Concerns remain about the long-term ecological impact of a massive spill at Nexen’s Long Lake site in northern Alberta. On Wednesday, media will get a chance to see the spill site in person. Shallima Maharaj has the details. 

EDMONTON — Cleanup efforts continued Monday at the site of a massive pipeline leak in northern Alberta.

Nexen Energy said it is working closely with Alberta Fish and Wildlife to continue developing a comprehensive wildlife mitigation plan at its Long Lake facility.

Nexen Energy said a dead duck was found on the west side of spill site, about 36 kilometres southeast of Fort McMurray, on Sunday morning. Late last week, Nexen said there were no immediate reports of impacts on wildlife.

“It is believed the duck had been at the spill site before many of the wildlife deterrents were put in place,” the company said in a media release Monday afternoon.

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READ MORE: Nexen sets up wildlife fence, will start testing water at spill site

The leak, which Nexen discovered on Wednesday afternoon, spilled an estimated 5,000 cubic metres of emulsion – about 5 million litres of bitumen, sand and wastewater – over a 16,000-square-metre area.

By Sunday, Nexen had drafted an environmental plan which was reviewed by the Alberta Energy Regulator on site. Nexen said a number of protective measures were in place to prevent wildlife from accessing the affected area, including fencing, wildlife cannons and bird flagging.

READ MORE: ‘It’s a big failure… it will take some time to clean up’: Alberta regulator on Nexen spill

Nexen has had spills at its Long Lake site before, including two small spills last October.

A guided media tour of the site has been set up for Wednesday morning, which Global News plans to attend.

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The Nexen pipeline leak is about one kilometre from its Long Lake facility, 36 km southeast of Fort McMurray. Reid Fiest, Global News
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A Nexen-supplied image of a pipeline oil spill near the Long Lake oil sands operation is shown at a press conference in Calgary, Alta., Friday, July 17, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
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A pipeline spill near Nexen's Long Lake facility, July 16, 2015. Reid Fiest, Global News
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OPTI Canada and Nexen upgrader and SAGD (steam assisted gravity drainage) facilities at Long Lake near Fort McMurray, Alberta. The Canadian Press Images/Larry MacDougal.
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Aerial images show the bitumen emulsion spill at Nexen's Long Lake site. Global News
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Aerial images show the bitumen emulsion spill at Nexen's Long Lake site. Global News
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Aerial images show the bitumen emulsion spill at Nexen's Long Lake site. Global News
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Aerial images show the bitumen emulsion spill at Nexen's Long Lake site. Global News

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