Amidst the flury of oil activity in Southeastern Saskatchewan, a pipeline has leaked about 200,000 litres of crude oil onto agricultural land 10 kilometres north of Stoughton. The area is in a low-lying area with a frozen slough.

It is estimated that 170,000 litres of the spill have been recovered, and that the oil has not entered major waterways.

Environmental consultants are at the site, and have indicated that there has been no effect to air quality and wildlife.

Calgary based Tundra Energy Marketing, who owns the pipeline is handling the cleanup.

Excavation of the affected line is to take place Wednesday.

Rail vs. Pipeline

While spills like this always call into question the relative safety of transferring oil by pipeline as opposed to rail, the number don't lie.

According to a study by the Fraser Institute, moving oil and gas by pipeline was 4.5 times safer than moving the same volume the same distance by rail in the decade ended in 2013, in Canada.

Pipeline 101 goes on to say that "A barrel of crude oil or petroleum product shipped by pipeline reaches its destination safely more than 99.999% of the time."

Oil Activity in Stoughton & Employment

Tundra Energy Marketing Ltd.’s (formerly Enbridge’s) Westspur pipeline system - the principal gathering network for southeast Saskatchewan - is also connected to the recent development by Dominion Energy Processing Group, Inc. (DEPGI).

This includes a 320 acre site of which a plant would take 180-210 acres.

From an employment point of view construction on the civil side going into the mechanical phase there is expcted to be 200 jobs.

Once operating, the plant is set to employ 60 people.

Keith Stemler, CEO of Dominion Energy Processing Group, Inc indicated the slack labour and housing market is definitely one of the drivers behind the project.

“We’re trying to catch this little downturn in the market, not only for better steel prices, but the mod yards are a little bit slower now. We would use mod yards in Saskatchewan. We’ve got a couple chosen vendors.”

Image Source: Ministry of enviornment