Nexen pipeline leaks 5,000 cu m of emulsion in Alberta

Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) reported that a Nexen Energy ULC pipeline has leaked 5,000 cu m of emulsion—a mixture of bitumen, produced water, and sand—according to Nexen’s initial estimates.

Nexen said the area is within its Long Lake oil sands operations, mostly within a pipeline corridor (OGJ Online, June 26, 2012). AER said the July 15 release has affected a 40 m by 400 m area that is “mainly isolated to the pipeline right-of-way, which includes muskeg.” AER said the emulsion “has not flowed into a waterbody.”

The pipeline and pad site have been isolated and shut in. AER said Nexen has “established containment of the released emulsion and has initiated cleanup of the impacted area.”

AER has directed Nexen to implement a wildlife protection plan in the area, which is about 36 km southeast of Fort McMurray.

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