Nexen responds to an oil sands pipeline failure near its Long Lake facility in Alberta

A pipeline failure has spilled millions of liters of emulsion from a Nexen Energy pipeline near its Long Lake oil sands facility south of Fort McMurray.
Photo courtesy of Nexen.

A pipeline failure has spilled millions of liters of emulsion from a Nexen Energy pipeline near its Long Lake oil sands facility south of Fort McMurray.

On Wednesday afternoon an emulsion leak from a pipeline was discovered. Nexen’s emergency response plan was activated, the leak was stabilized and the site is currently under control.

The spill covered an area of about 16,000 square meters, mostly within the pipeline corridor, the company said. Emulsion is a mixture of bitumen, water and sand.

The pipeline that leaked is called a "feeder" and runs from a wellhead to the processing plant.

No reports of any effect on the wildlife have been reported. The Alberta energy regulator has ordered the company to implement a wildlife protection plan.

Nexen reports that all the necessary steps and precautions have been taken, and they will continue to utilize all its resources to protect the health and safety of its employees, contractors, the public and the environment. No injuries were reported.

No word on how long the cleanup efforts will continue.

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