Pipeline Spill, No 2,299,487,540


TenPenny
#1
Interesting spill in Northern Alberta. Now, this isn't an 'oil' pipeline, it's an emulsion of oil and water used for injection. But the interesting part to me is this bit from the Globe and Mail:

Quote:

As with many recent pipeline accidents, Calgary-based Pace did not detect a problem, but was informed of the leak by another company after the spill was spotted from an aircraft.

So, despite what some claim, many companies don't have any way to monitor their own pipelines, they rely on chance and other people to notice it.

These are the things that bother people. There's nothing wrong with pipelines, but it would be helpful to monitor them properly. Nobody knows how long it's been leaking, although obviously a relatively short period of time.
 
mentalfloss
#2
It's very common you hear in the news that these spills are only dealt with after some passerby takes notice.

I don't know how much we can actually fault the oil companies for faulty monitoring even though this is a very contentious issue. May do some research on that..
 
mentalfloss
#3
A bit more on the spill:

Pipeline spill sends 22,000 barrels of oil mix into Alberta muskeg

A huge pipeline spill has released 22,000 barrels of oil and water into muskeg in the far northwest of Alberta.

The spill ranks among the largest in North America in recent years, a period that has seen a series of high-profile accidents that have undermined the energy industry’s safety record. The Enbridge Inc. pipeline rupture that leaked oil near Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, for example, spilled an estimated 19,500 barrels.

The most recent spill was discovered May 19 emanating from a pipeline belonging to Pace Oil & Gas Ltd. (PCE-T3.19-0.30-8.60%), a small energy company that produces about 15,000 barrels a day, roughly half of that oil.

The spill has yet to be contained, although “we’re very close,” Pace chief executive Fred Woods said in an interview Wednesday.

The spill took place roughly 20 kilometres southeast of Rainbow Lake, which is 165 km south of the Northwest Territories border. It came from a pipeline used for water injection, carrying an emulsion that was roughly 70 per cent water and 30 per cent oil.

As with many recent pipeline accidents, Calgary-based Pace did not detect a problem, but was informed of the leak by another company after the spill was spotted from an aircraft. The spill, which killed one duck, now covers 4.3 hectares. Mr. Woods declined comment on how long it was leaking before detection.

The company is now setting up a 50-person camp near the spill site, and has hired contract workers to clean it up. By Monday, it had recovered some 3,700 barrels of emulsion. It’s unclear how long it will take to clean up. Alberta’s Environmental Resources Conservation Board is investigating the spill.

The province has seen a spate of recent leaks. Last year, for example, the 220,000 barrel-a-day Rainbow pipeline belonging to Plains All America Pipeline L.P., spilled 28,000 barrels in northern Alberta.
The province has also seen a series of accidents on smaller gathering and distribution pipelines, which are typically run by oil and gas companies and may not receive the safety scrutiny applied to longer-haul pipes such as Rainbow. On May 8, a farmer discovered a spill of a very light oil, called condensate, in a field in central Alberta. That oil had leaked from an AltaGas Ltd. pipe delivering raw natural gas to a processing plant.

Last June, 500 barrels of oily product spilled from a pipe gathering system run by Pengrowth Energy Corp.

The water injection well connected to the leaking Pace pipe was used to dispose of waste.

Pipeline spill sends 22,000 barrels of oil mix into Alberta muskeg - The Globe and Mail
 
Cliffy
+1
#4
This happens all the time and is the main reason for the objection to the northern pipeline in BC which will run through some beautiful lake and river terrain. There is no way to guarantee no leaks and the damage done would be irreparable in a lot of these areas.

I know Kaka dude will come flying in here and make all kinds of noise about peeps who know nothing about pipelines, but he has been blowing smoke up everybody's ass for so long he doesn't even know he is doing it anymore.
Last edited by Cliffy; May 31st, 2012 at 11:22 AM..
 
lone wolf
+1
#5
Pipelines are the best example of why shipment by rail is safer. Two people in contact with help accompany every drop
 
karrie
+1
#6
Part of me says 'they ought to be inspecting more often', but the land up there is so unique, I can't fathom the damage that would need to be done to it to try to inspect regularly. You'd need to build roads or something so that men on quads could tear through the wilderness daily, burning petroleum, or else you'd need to fly it daily. I don't know what a good solution is. The muskeg is so spongy and can swallow a quad so easily. They both seem like petro expensive options, or muskeg damaging options.

Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

Pipelines are the best example of why shipment by rail is safer. Two people in contact with help accompany every drop

This spill did way less damage to the ecosystem than you'd have to do to build a railroad through that much muskeg.
 
petros
#7
Isn't it a line that pumps waste into the ground?
 
TenPenny
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

Pipelines are the best example of why shipment by rail is safer. Two people in contact with help accompany every drop

Rail is more dangerous than pipelines. Trains go through towns, over hills, etc etc. Pipelines are much safer for high volumes than trains.
 
lone wolf
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

Rail is more dangerous than pipelines. Trains go through towns, over hills, etc etc. Pipelines are much safer for high volumes than trains.

With rail, you know there's a spill pretty much the moment it happens and how much was spilled. Nothing is goofproof
 
Tonington
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

Part of me says 'they ought to be inspecting more often', but the land up there is so unique, I can't fathom the damage that would need to be done to it to try to inspect regularly.

If due diligence isn't possible, then perhaps the line shouldn't have been built there? That's a pretty good item include in a risk assessment, before the fluid ever hits the pipe.
 
TenPenny
+2
#11
It's relatively easy to compare what's flowing in a pipeline at point a with what's flowing in the pipeline at point b. If there's a difference, you have a problem.
 
Cliffy
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

It's relatively easy to compare what's flowing in a pipeline at point a with what's flowing in the pipeline at point b. If there's a difference, you have a problem.

Then, considering the shear volume of leaks and how long they go undetected, then there is a serious problem with due diligence. If they can't monitor their pipelines with any accuracy, they shouldn't be building them until they can. It would also help if the industry would stop treating people like idiots. They aren't and they are onto the industry's games.
 
lone wolf
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

It's relatively easy to compare what's flowing in a pipeline at point a with what's flowing in the pipeline at point b. If there's a difference, you have a problem.

True.... It's called the liquid is still spilling
 
karrie
+1
#14
I think part of the problem with this one is just the sheer 'who gives a ****'. The land is unliveable, so they're not worried about killing people, the fluid flowing isn't valuable, so they weren't worried about losing money. They didn't think it would ever hit them in the pocketbook.

Now, it has. You'll see oversight put in. A 50 man camp to clean up muskeg... that's not going to be cheap at all. They'll prevent that in the future.
 
CDNBear
#15
Officials investigate another Alberta pipeline leak

CTVNews.ca Staff
Date: Wednesday Jun. 20, 2012 8:07 AM ET

Alberta officials are investigating after yet another pipeline leaked in the province, causing crude oil to spill at a pumping station near Elk Lake, northeast of Edmonton.

The spill at Enbridge Inc.'s Athabasca pipeline happened Monday. An estimated 230,000 litres of heavy crude oil leaked, according to the company.

However, Darin Barter of the province's Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) said the amount of oil spilled, and the cause, have not yet been confirmed.

"It's too early to really tell what the cause will be because we are in frankly a messy situation with oil and at this point the priority is to get it off the ground," Barter told CTV Edmonton in an interview.

Enbridge confirmed Tuesday the leak occurred at the pumping station about 24 kilometres southeast of Elk Point, Alberta.
In a release, the oil company said the pipeline had been shut down and the pumping station had been isolated.

"No waterways are impacted and cleanup is underway," the statement said.

There were no injuries or evacuations as a result of the oil leak. The ERCB is continuing to investigate the leak.

Earlier this month the oil company Plains Midstream Canada announced that 475,000 litres of oil had spilled into Alberta's Red Deer River and a water reservoir downstream of the leak.

And in May, Calgary-based Pace Oil and Gas announced a spill after it was spotted during a flyover in a remote muskeg area of northwestern Alberta, about 20 kilometres southeast of Rainbow Lake.

The spill affected an area about 500 metres long by 200 metres wide, said Fred Woods, president and CEO of Pace Oil and Gas Ltd.

Officials investigate another Alberta pipeline leak | CTV News
 
lone wolf
#16
That's not the one into Red Deer River a week or so ago either....
 
CDNBear
+1
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

That's not the one into Red Deer River a week or so ago either....

No, but I didn't think starting a new thread on pipeline spills was necessary.
 
damngrumpy
#18
Lets see, we can't monitor it because its too hard to get to but we can build it there.
Excuse excuses, if they can build it they can maintain it simple as that. I like the
rail idea anyway it makes sense and provides more jobs in the long run, plus it can
be monitored.
I am not against pipelines, I am against these lines if they are not maintained and
inspected. The companies don'[t care as long as they make money. I hope the BC
folks don't buy into the jobs and progress crap. We don't need the pipeline to send
our resource to someone Else's shore for little or no benefit while accepting all the
risk. All resource products should be sold as finished products with jobs going to
Canadians. How we get it there is the discussion after we have extracted every dime
we can get for it.
 
Durry
+1
#19
Pipeline technology, both design and installation as well as monitoring has come a long ways in the last fifteen years alone.
There are many lines, take the Main product lines from AB to Sarnia, which have been operating successfully for over 50 years and have not had a major spill.
There are a lot of p/l's in the ground now, and one has to keep this in perspective.

Progress is continuing to be made in all areas concerning pipeline design, monitoring and installation practices. No one wants p/l spills, least of all the owner/operators.
 
relic
#20
And the anti inviornment bs in the "budget" bill,it's only going to get worse
 
CDNBear
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by relic View Post

And the anti inviornment bs in the "budget" bill,it's only going to get worse

I actually agree with that sane and non hyperbole opinion.
 
Kakato
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

With rail, you know there's a spill pretty much the moment it happens and how much was spilled. Nothing is goofproof

Been 3 derailments within a few miles of me the last few years,I have the trans Canada pipeline also 100 meters from my home,no problems yet.

Lots of leaking lines are very old,they cut a lot of corners 30 years ago on some jobs.

Expect a lot more.
 
wulfie68
+3
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by Kakato View Post

Been 3 derailments within a few miles of me the last few years,I have the trans Canada pipeline also 100 meters from my home,no problems yet.

Lots of leaking lines are very old,they cut a lot of corners 30 years ago on some jobs.

Expect a lot more.

The sad fact of the matter is that while technology has progressed in many respects, the overwhelming mindset in the energy industry is the same as in the rest of the market driven economy: do it faster and as cheap as you can get away with. Randy Eresman (CEO of Encana) was on record for telling his employees that he wanted them to challenge the regulators on many of the regulations they had to obey (i.e. put the onus on the regulatory bodies such as ABSA and the ERCB as to "prove" why they were applicable and should be followed): unfortunately on asset integrity side of the business, those regulations are there because of environmental catastrophe or loss of life, so challenging them doesn't help avoid failures. In many cases (like Encana's numerous failures on shallow sweet gas gathering lines in SE Alberta) the consequences are minor, so the motivation to avoid them is minor as well.
 
CDNBear
#24
Your honesty is refreshing wulfie, don't ever change bud!!!
 
Kakato
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by wulfie68 View Post

The sad fact of the matter is that while technology has progressed in many respects, the overwhelming mindset in the energy industry is the same as in the rest of the market driven economy: do it faster and as cheap as you can get away with. Randy Eresman (CEO of Encana) was on record for telling his employees that he wanted them to challenge the regulators on many of the regulations they had to obey (i.e. put the onus on the regulatory bodies such as ABSA and the ERCB as to "prove" why they were applicable and should be followed): unfortunately on asset integrity side of the business, those regulations are there because of environmental catastrophe or loss of life, so challenging them doesn't help avoid failures. In many cases (like Encana's numerous failures on shallow sweet gas gathering lines in SE Alberta) the consequences are minor, so the motivation to avoid them is minor as well.


Nope,theres an inspector for allmost every 2 guys on the pipeline now,pictures and video are taken through every step of the job,due diligence,this stuff can come back to bite you in the ass 30 years later so better do it right and to engineer specs.

Cover your ass,name of the game now a days.
 
lone wolf
+2
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by Kakato View Post

Been 3 derailments within a few miles of me the last few years,I have the trans Canada pipeline also 100 meters from my home,no problems yet.

Lots of leaking lines are very old,they cut a lot of corners 30 years ago on some jobs.

Expect a lot more.

Been 3 derailments and they knew the moment it happened, how much was aboard and how much, if anything, spilled. Can you claim the same for pipelines built by the lowest bidder and maintained as cheaply as possible in the name of profit?
Last edited by lone wolf; Jun 20th, 2012 at 08:42 PM..Reason: remove wiggle room
 
wulfie68
+2
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by Kakato View Post

Nope,theres an inspector for allmost every 2 guys on the pipeline now,pictures and video are taken through every step of the job,due diligence,this stuff can come back to bite you in the ass 30 years later so better do it right and to engineer specs.

Cover your ass,name of the game now a days.

Sorry, but as a corrosion engineering and inspection professional in the energy industry, I can tell you quite honestly that in many cases, all that is done is enough to make some execs in some towers in Calgary feel like they can tie things up in court long enough to act as a disincentive to prosecute them, or break a small company/individual in a civil suit. It is CYA, but only to a point where it you're unassailable, not necessarily in the right. There is a lot more than can, and in many cases SHOULD be done, but these things take time and shave a percentage point or 2 off the profit margin, thus are ignored. Changes have come to the industry, especially on things like the construction end, but usually its driven by a sudden catastrophic event.
 
CDNBear
+1
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by wulfie68 View Post

Sorry, but as a corrosion engineering and inspection professional in the energy industry, I can tell you quite honestly that in many cases, all that is done is enough to make some execs in some towers in Calgary feel like they can tie things up in court long enough to act as a disincentive to prosecute them, or break a small company/individual in a civil suit.

It's good to hear some honest talk from someone actually in the industry.
 
Durry
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by wulfie68 View Post

Sorry, but as a corrosion engineering and inspection professional in the energy industry, I can tell you quite honestly that in many cases, all that is done is enough to make some execs in some towers in Calgary feel like they can tie things up in court long enough to act as a disincentive to prosecute them, or break a small company/individual in a civil suit. It is CYA, but only to a point where it you're unassailable, not necessarily in the right. There is a lot more than can, and in many cases SHOULD be done, but these things take time and shave a percentage point or 2 off the profit margin, thus are ignored. Changes have come to the industry, especially on things like the construction end, but usually its driven by a sudden catastrophic event.

Not sure where your getting your perspective on Oil exec in the Calgary Towers, but to imply that they would support an oil spill is just pure silly.
Nobody wants an oil spill, nobody wins with an oil spill, least of all the CEO's of any company.

Like anything there is always more that can be done but it always comes down to reaching the appropriate levels of risk.
Even cars can be made more safer, but even here it comes down to a number of professionals making a judgement decision.

So I think your comments are based on a lack of knowledge and a baise to only your trade.
 
wulfie68
+4
#30  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Durry View Post

Not sure where your getting your perspective on Oil exec in the Calgary Towers, but to imply that they would support an oil spill is just pure silly.
Nobody wants an oil spill, nobody wins with an oil spill, least of all the CEO's of any company.

Like anything there is always more that can be done but it always comes down to reaching the appropriate levels of risk.
Even cars can be made more safer, but even here it comes down to a number of professionals making a judgement decision.

So I think your comments are based on a lack of knowledge and a baise to only your trade.

OK. Since you're displaying a lack of reading comprehension and trying to invent statements for/by me, no, no one WANTS a spill or leak, but there is a very real limit to what most execs in Calgary will do to prevent one, when it means a project gets delayed or even in some cases, if the budget increases.

Risk assessment is a phrase they like to throw around when really most people don't have a true appreciation for the consequences. Its all well and fine until its your property and loved ones that become at risk because someone decided that $150 000 needed to be trimmed off a $5 million project. In many cases the decisions aren't made by engineers, but by MBAs and accountants, who have no technical knowledge to base their decisions on, just an understanding of profit margins and how larger ones translate into bigger bonuses for them.

And I don't what language you're butchering with "a baise to only your trade" but my comments are made as a professional with over 25 years in the Oil & Gas industry, 15 of it dealing with asset integrity, and someone who grew up in and lived all his life in and around the industry. I also realize internet credential claims are worth exactly what you pay to read them, but I am telling to READ and THINK, not skim and pass judgement. I don't have a hate on for it: I work in it and respect the majority of hard working, honest people who earn their livings through it, but by the same token, I am also well versed in the downsides and clusterf***s that can result from idiots in high office making poor decisions.
 

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