Nexen Energy 1.3 Gallon Bitumen Spill | Ft. Murray, AB, CAN | July 17, 2015

Failsafe System On A New Pipeline Failed To Warn of Rupture

Alberta pipeline spill

Another major pipeline spill in the oily badlands of Alberta near the tar sands boom town of Fort McMurray. Approximately 1.3 million gallons of bitumen, hydrocarbons and chemicals were spilled from an Nexen Energy pipeline July 15. The spill covered 16,000 sq.meters. The company has apologized for the incident but doesn’t know the cause yet. As it happened, the failsafe (seriously) system failed and the spill was noticed by a strolling worker. You can count on their being investigation.

Although 1.3 million gallons is a lot of toxic hydrocarbons to spill anywhere, consider that Alberta has already contaminated an area the size of Florida to a point of no return.  There are huge oil spills every year and about four small spills every day. Another million of gallons or so won’t make much difference.

The last major pipeline spill in Alberta was in 2011, when a Plains Midstream Canada ULC pipeline spilled another million gallons of its oily seed near a First Nations community in northwest Alberta. The province averages four spills a day.

[See our global update on petrochemical screw ups map here]
[For a detailed list of petrochemical explosions, spills and perps, feel free to examine our archives]

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