An oil spill in the RM of Pipestone took place on or around Feb. 1, but we only were able to confirm it happened on March 3 for the next day’s Brandon Sun.
While it wasn’t a major spill, the secrecy surrounding it is typical of these large oil companies that pump as much paranoia as oil products through the pipelines.
The only information we could find was from a local newspaper that said in late February that the spill at the Tundra Oil and Gas Partnership was reported on Feb. 1.
“It’s almost impossible to find anything out about this spill,” said Carlyle Jorgenson, who owns a farm nearby and has many questions he wants answered about the spill.
He said about seven or eight trucks per day were hauling from the spill site by his house for a few weeks.
While flying over the site, Jorgensen said he was able to spot the spill because of discoloration in the soil.
“We could see a bit of exposed pipe through the holes they have been digging and we could see contaminated ground where they were digging for sure.
“They have a very large area ... stripped off and the day we flew over it, it looked like a plastic liner in this area they stripped off.”
Tim Howell, vice-president of operations for Tundra, said cleanup efforts are in place and the company hopes to have it finished before spring breakup to prevent the oil from seeping into the nearby Jackson Creek, according to the Reston Recorder.
The company official said the line has a low production of around 30 barrels per day.
So that’s why we can’t imagine the spill is much like the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.
But when the local MLA — in this case, Arthur-Virden Progressive Conservative Larry Maguire — isn’t even informed of the incident, you just have to wonder why all the secrecy?
Perhaps if oil and pipeline companies were more forthcoming with these little spills, we’d be better prepared to handle news of truly serious incidents, were they to happen.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 6, 2013