$500K damage done to northwestern Alberta pipeline: RCMP

File: RCMP cruiser. File / Global News

Mounties are investigating after a pipeline in northwestern Alberta was vandalized, causing more than $500,000 damage.

Const. Michelle Mosher says an employee with a construction crew reported the vandalism from the site north of Hythe on Sunday morning.

Mosher says it appears a piece of construction equipment was used to try to dig up the pipeline and the line will have to be replaced.

A spokesman for the body that regulates pipelines in Alberta says Paramount Resources owns the pipeline which is under construction and no product was involved or spilled.

Hythe is 500 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

Mosher is encouraging anyone in the area who may have seen anything out of the norm to call police.

“Sometimes in remote areas the people who live in the areas recognize different people and different vehicles that they don’t normally see,” she said. “If there’s any suspicious people or things, please come forward with that information.”

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Between 1996 and 1998, there were at least 160 vandalism incidents at oil and gas facilities in northwestern Alberta. They ranged from nails strewn along lease roads to shootings and bombings.

In April 2000, Wiebo Ludwig was convicted of bombing a Suncor well site close to his home near Hythe. He was also found guilty of encasing a Norcen Energy well in concrete and counselling an RCMP informant to possess explosives.

He served 19 months in jail. Ludwig died in 2012.

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