(Adds Husky comment, paragraph 9)
By Rod Nickel
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, March 23 The western
Canadian province of Saskatchewan will review regulations and
engineering standards for pipelines around bodies of water
following a Husky Energy Inc oil spill last year into a
Husky's July 2016 spill into the North Saskatchewan River
forced the cities of Prince Albert and North Battleford to find
alternative temporary sources of drinking water. In
total, 225 cubic meters of oil blended with distillates leaked,
with 60 percent contained on land, Saskatchewan's ministry of
economy said on Thursday.
“Since the Husky spill in July, we’ve recognized that we
need to do better when it comes to preventing incidents,” Energy
and Resources Minister Dustin Duncan said in a statement.
Pipeline safety is a sensitive issue in Canada, where Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau's government in November approved a new
Kinder Morgan Inc pipeline. Pipelines are
viewed by the oil-rich provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan as
critical to move crude oil, but they have drawn fierce
opposition from environmental and indigenous groups.
On Monday, the Alberta Energy Regulator said it was
responding to a Husky crude oil spill in that province.
Saskatchewan's economy ministry said the province would
strengthen regulatory standards for pipelines around water to
deal with risks such as slope movement. It will also review the
design of existing pipelines near water.
The Husky pipeline that leaked was built in 1997.
The government concluded that a buckle in the pipeline
cracked and caused the spill due to ground movement on a slope
of land over many years, mirroring the company's earlier
"Husky accepts full responsibility and is using what we’ve
learned from this incident to improve our systems and operating
procedures," company spokesman Mel Duvall said in an email.
The findings will be reviewed by Saskatchewan justice
officials for possible charges against Husky, government
spokeswoman Karen Hill said.
In its 2017/18 budget, released on Wednesday, Saskatchewan
said it would hire more inspectors for the oil and gas industry.
(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by
Andrew Hay and Dan Grebler)