Pipeline owner says oil wasn't flowing at time of leak into Alberta river - InfoNews

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Pipeline owner says oil wasn't flowing at time of leak into Alberta river

Oil from a pipeline leak coats a pond near Sundre, Alta., Friday, June 8, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
June 10, 2012 - 4:59 PM

CALGARY - A representative for the company whose pipeline spilled hundreds of thousands of litres of oil into an Alberta river suggests there were two lucky breaks that kept it from being worse.

Stephen Bart, the vice-president of crude oil operations for Plains Midstream Canada, says the first piece of good luck was that the pipeline wasn't flowing at the time.

Bart says the second was that the Red Deer River was swollen with recent rain, and that washed the oil to the Gleniffer Reservoir where it can be more easily contained by booms.

Plains Midstream Canada has estimates between 1,000 and 3,000 barrels of oil spilled Thursday.

Bart says there are people on foot who are looking for wildlife that may have been affected by the spill, but so far he says there have been few reports of injured animals so far.

He says some of the people on foot patrols have noise devices which can be used to scare birds away from landing on oil-affected areas.

Gleniffer Lake provides the water supply for the City of Red Deer and is a popular recreation area for fishing and boating.

Bart says the booms have contained the oil to the western tip of the reservoir.

The company has been providing bottled water to people who draw their drinking water directly from the river and the reservoir.

Alberta Environment officials have been telling people to stay away from the water.

There's been no word on what caused the leak.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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