A pipeline rupture north of Sundre, 130 kilometres northwest of Calgary, and spilled between 75 and 125 barrels of oil into the Red Deer River on Sunday night, company and government officials said.
Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board says the leak was detected at about 10:30 p.m. from the sweet crude oil pipeline licensed to Pembina Pipelines.
The leak was isolated and the flow of oil stopped as soon as the problem became known, AERC said.
Les Swelin, with Pembina in Sundre, said recent high water caused the river to change channels, which, in turn, may have undermined the pipeline.
It is not immediately known when crews will attempt to dig up the pipeline, said Swelin.
Tom Jackson, whose farm is located on the west bank of the river at the site, says his family noticed a strong smell of gas early Sunday evening.
“We noticed it around 9:30 or maybe a little earlier. The smell just gradually got a little worse,” said Jackson.
Following the leak, an oil sheen was detected on Gleniffer Lake, about 33 kilometres down stream from the leak site.
Booms were being deployed at the lake and Pembina started removing oil yesterday afternoon.
Cheryl Robb, spokesperson for Alberta Environment, says users and residents have been told to stay off the lake until further notice.
“Our priority is to contain the spill and to get the product off the lake,” she said.
“We are monitoring to make sure that the drinking water facilities downstream aren’t affected.”