Oil from Husky Energy pipeline spill into North Saskatchewan River. Photo: Shelley Essaunce
There are many parallels between last week’s heavy oil spill from a Husky Energy pipeline in Saskatchewan and the Enbridge pipeline rupture in Kalamazoo Michigan almost exactly six years ago.
Both ruptures occurred while control room staff were restarting the flow in the pipelines.
In both cases, “anomalies” were indicated by computers systems monitoring the pipelines.
In both cases, the companies failed to interpret the “anomalies” as leaks.
In both cases, significant periods of time elapsed before the companies were made aware of the leaks by members of the public seeing the oil floating down river. 17 hours for Enbridge, 14 hours for Husky.
In both cases, diluents had been added to the pipeline to facilitate pumping.
In both cases, emergency responses were inadequate to deal with the quantity spilled and the conditions on the rivers the spills flowed into.