Calgary-based Penn West Exploration is busy investigating an injection line leak that pooled an estimated 300,000 litres of produced water into a farmer’s field near Red Deer.
Vacuum trucks and holding tanks are on the scene of the August 21, 2012 spill, which Penn West says involved almost 99 per cent produced water with low levels of salt and about one per cent oil.
The cause of the leak is still under investigation.
“The release of produced water was contained and free standing fluid on the ground has been recovered,” Greg Moffatt, Penn West manager of government and industry, told HazMat Management magazine.
“Assessment activities have been and continue to be carried out on the property," Moffatt added. "Based on those activities, Penn West will reclaim the land to meet regulatory requirements. The line has been exposed at the release point and the section of pipe in question will be sent to a third-party laboratory for inspection.”
Penn West says once it observed a pressure drop on the line August 21, it shut it off and sent a plane to investigate. But the problem was eventually found by a crew on the ground walking the length of the pipe.
Soil testing can be conducted once the liquid has been removed.
The company has indicated it will compensate the canola farmer affected by the leak.
Penn West Overview
Penn West is one of the largest conventional oil and natural gas producers in Canada. Penn West operates a significant portfolio of opportunities with a dominant position in light oil in Canada. Based in Calgary, Alberta, Penn West operates throughout western Canada on a land base encompassing over six million acres.
Penn West is an actively managed company with a large and diversified asset portfolio, experienced and specialized technical teams, and an extensive inventory of internal opportunities. Penn West is well positioned to create long-term value for shareholders through a high-quality, long-life asset base, strong balance sheet and experienced management team.