Canadian pipeline spills oil into Pine River

Emergency crews are working to contain a major crude oil pipeline spill in the Pine River in northeastern British Columbia. A 13-mile slick was moving on the river towards the town of Chetwynd, about 60 miles Northeast of Prince George, BC, and posing a threat to its water supply. Chetwynd has a population of about 4,000.

Aug 2nd, 2000


CALGARY�Emergency crews are working to contain a major crude oil pipeline spill in the Pine River in northeastern British Columbia. A 13-mile slick was moving on the river towards the town of Chetwynd, about 60 miles Northeast of Prince George, BC, and posing a threat to its water supply. Chetwynd has a population of about 4,000.

Pembina Pipeline Corp., Calgary, owns the 25-year-old line, which moves about 40,000 b/d between Taylor and Kamloops, BC. Pembina estimated the spill loss at 1,500-6,000 bbl. Pembina took ownership of the line from Federated Pipelines Ltd., Calgary, at the beginning of August (OGJ Online, Aug. 1, 2000).

Pembina said workers were experiencing problems with the line early on Aug. 1 because an electrical storm was interfering with communications between the pipeline and a control center in Calgary. The company said the line was shut down and then restarted after the storm.

Company Pres. Bob Michaleski said the line may have ruptured when pumps were restarted. He said workers noticed a drop in pressure in the line about 1:20 a.m. Tuesday and had shut valves by 2.15 a.m. Valves had to be shut manually.

Oil booms were placed across the river about 25 miles upstream from the town, but some oil passed the first containment booms. About 75 workers from Alberta and British Columbia are working to contain the spill. Officials said any oil that gets past the containment system would take about 48 hr to reach Chetwynd.

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