AER reports leak of over 100,000 litres of oil and water in southern Alberta, down from initial estimate of 250,000 litres

File photo of pump jacks.
File photo of pump jacks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

More than 100,000 litres of oil and water have leaked into a marsh east of Jenner in southern Alberta, according to the new owner of oil and gas wells that belonged until recently to environment-focused Imaginea Energy Corp.

The liquids leaked from a line owned by Calgary-based Cor4 Oil Corp. and flowed down a hill into a marsh, the Alberta Energy Regulator says on its website.

The spill of oil mixed with produced water was detected on Saturday afternoon, resulting in activation of Cor4’s response plan and immediate AER notification, the company said in a statement on Monday. It’s unclear when the leak began.

“The release has travelled off site, with a portion of the released fluids contacting a low-lying slough/grassy bog area,” it said.

“Impact on wildlife is currently being assessed by specialists on site, but appears to have been minimal. Crews have physically contained the spilled fluids from causing further contamination, and have already recovered a significant volume of the released fluid from the surface.”

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The spill is affecting farmland that is not currently being used for pasture and the owner has visited the site, it said.

The leak appears to have come from a connection where a feeder pipeline enters an oil-processing battery, said Cor4 CEO Colin Davies.

The volume of the spill is estimated by the company to be between 100,000 and 200,000 litres, down from its initial estimate of 250,000 litres.

In November, Imaginea Energy CEO Suzanne West said she had parted ways with her financial backer, Lime Rock Partners of Houston, and her Calgary company’s oil and gas assets had been taken over by Cor4, a newly created private entity.

READ MORE: Calgary’s Imaginea Energy vows to pursue greener path after oil firm splits with backers

She said at the time she welcomed the change because her company would be free to focus on creating a new industry of “clean hydrocarbons” with zero emissions, pollution or use of fresh water.

However, she died in March after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

Her company is now called Imaginea Ai and is focused on developing artificial intelligence and clean technologies.

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