UPDATE: Husky Energy responds to oil leak timeline

By Spencer Sterritt
July 26, 2016 - 1:26pm Updated: July 27, 2016 - 6:49am

UPDATE: Husky Energy clarified they detected “pressure anomalies” in their pipeline near Maidstone, Sask. the night of Wednesday, July 20, but did not detect a leak that night.

A statement released by Husky Energy said plans were made to fly over the pipeline as soon as there was enough daylight, and the shutdown procedure on the pipeline began Thursday morning as a precaution.

The leak was apparently discovered Thursday morning when a sheen was noticed on the river, at which point an emergency plan was placed into action.

An exact time of the leak has not been pinpointed.  

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According to a preliminary report from Husky Energy, the recent oil leak near Maidstone, Sask. occurred 14 hours earlier than initially reported.

The most recent incident report states “On July 20, 20:00 h, a pipeline release was discovered on the south shore of the North Saskatchewan River.” Yet Husky Energy’s vice-president Al Pate said “the first indication we had a leak was Thursday morning.”

He could not clarify a difference between a release and a leak.

The inconsistencies between the initial statements and the recently released report, shows a 14 hour difference between version of events.  

“I don’t have specific details on Wednesday night activities,” Pate said to reporters during a conference call today, July 26. “When the reports came in early Thursday morning, that’s when crews were deployed,” he said.

“There’s going to be a full and comprehensive investigation,” was Pate’s refrain during the conference call, saying the phrase 16 times as reporters peppered him with questions about the spill.

Numerous times Pate seemed on the defensive.

“I don’t want to get into speculation,” he said when asked why crews weren’t deployed to the spill site on Wednesday night.

Approximately 200,000 and 250,000 litres of heavy oil mixed with diluent entered the North Saskatchewan River from the spill.

 

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On Twitter: @spencer_sterrit

EDITOR'S NOTE — This story was updated at 4:22 p.m. Tuesday, July 26 to include information obtained from a press release issued by Husky.

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