Crews were still on the scene of an oil spill in the North Saskatchewan River Friday morning.
Husky Energy said it isolated an impacted section of pipeline carrying blended heavy oil and diluent about 30 kilometres east of Lloydminster Thursday morning. A sheen was spotted on the river nearby.
Ralph Bock, the province’s manager for hazardous materials and impacted sites, said the oil slick was first noticed around 10 a.m. from the Highway 21 bridge north of Maidstone.
“Through investigation and reporting and cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, we determined that it was coming from a pipeline right of way adjacent to the river, about 600 metres away, that flowed overland into the river and was impacting the river at that point,” Bock said.
A spokesperson for Husky Energy said spill response crews and equipment were sent to clean up the site, recover the material, and sample the water.
Company officials are also working with local municipalities, property owners and regulators.
Bock said crews were working on the river at the Paynton ferry crossing, about 40 kilometres east of the bridge, to try to recover oil product there and keep it from spreading further.
He added the ministry was awaiting results of an aerial survey, and couldn’t confirm if the slick had reached the Battlefords.
“As part of the work that the responsible party is undertaking, they are identifying and notifying all potential downstream users including landowners and other users which would include the town of Battleford and the city of North Battleford,” he said.
“We’re providing advice and assistance…to make sure that we’re protecting the responders and ensuring public safety, and ensuring the environment is protected,” Bock said. “We’re also protecting the infrastructure that may be involved downstream.”
According to Bock, the best estimate of spill size was a maximum of 250,000 litres, but it’s subject to change. The affected pipeline is part of Husky’s Saskatchewan Gathering System.
In an email, the province said according to reports from the field as of 4:30 p.m, the slick had not yet reached the Paynton ferry crossing.
The Water Security Agency contacted treatment plant operators to notify them of the oil leak, and offered information to prevent the plants from becoming contaminated should the oil reach them.