Alberta oil spill: When ‘failsafe’ leak detection systems fail

July 17, 2015 – Anna Mehler Paperny, Global News

Nexen is investigating why its “failsafe” leak detection system failed to detect what turned out to be a massive spill that leaked 5,000 cubic metres of bitumen, sand and wastewater into an area of northern Alberta so remote the oil and gas company needs to build roads from scratch just to access the spill site.

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Enbridge’s Northern Gateway: Now things get interesting

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June 17, 2014 – Anna Mehler Paperny, Global News

The federal government’s approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipelineis somewhat anticlimactic: It’s been expected since a Joint Review Panel gave the project a green light (with 209 conditions) late last year.

But now the gloves come off: A quintet of lawsuits seeking to overturn that review panel decision, put on hold in light of Ottawa’s pending decision, is poised to recommence, likely amid more litigation taking issue with the decision itself.

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Five months (and counting) into CNRL spill, questions of why more wasn’t done after 2009 leak

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Sept. 27, 2013 –  Global News

A series of spills in northern Alberta is still oozing bitumen more than five months after the leaks began. And with no end in sight, Alberta’s Environment Ministry has taken what it says is an unprecedented step, asking Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. to partially drain an oil-soaked water body before it freezes this winter and traps a bitumen gash underneath it.

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Alberta pipeline safety: Watching the watchers who watch pipeline-watchers

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Anna Mehler Paperny – Global News

Alberta Energy Minister Ken Hughes has been getting a rough ride lately over his pipeline safety review.

Commissioned in July, 2012, completed in December and made public the following August, the 54-page report compared Alberta’s pipeline regulations to those of other jurisdictions. Turns out they stack up well.

It did not, however, look at whether those rules are being followed and enforced.

Nor did it look at any actual pipeline incidents.

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