Over 200,000 L of Oil was spilled on the North Saskatchewan River - July 2016

Credit: Global News Canada

The province of Saskatchewan said in an email that a breach was reported on a Husky Energy line upstream of Maidstone on July 22nd, 2016.

“Based on our current information that we’ve received from the responsible party, it’s between 200 to 250 cubic meters [200,000 to 250,000 litres of oil],” Saskatchewan Environment Ministry Hazmat and Impacted Sites manager Ralph Bock told Global News.

Right now our efforts are solely focused on the response phase and controlling the incident at the release point and then putting some controls in the North Saskatchewan River to keep the footprint of the incident at a minimum,” Bock said when asked about the cause.

Husky said it shut down the line and was working closely with neighbours and municipalities.

Husky spokesman Mel Duvall said the line runs from the company’s heavy oil operations to its facilities in Lloydminster and carries oil mixed with a diluent, which is a lighter hydrocarbon that’s added to ease the flow.

The province said an environmental protection officer had been dispatched to the site. It also said Husky, with co-operation from the province, was notifying river users downstream of the spill.

“There certainly could be some impacts to the shoreline and vegetation on the shoreline and potentially to wildlife and the eco system in general,” Bock told Global News.

He said the clean-up operation is a “very fluid and dynamic thing” that will be evaluated as efforts continued.

The spill, affecting an area of about 41,500 square metres, forced the Saskatchewan cities of North Battleford, Prince Albert and Melfort to shut off their water intakes from the river and find other water sources for almost two months. After it was all said and done, clean up efforts were wrapped up, in total recovering about 210,000 litres.

Husky Energy says it has spent about $90 million responding to the spill itself.

 North Saskatchewan Oil Spill