A ConocoPhillips pipeline in northwestern Alberta has spilled 380,000 litres of light petroleum condensate within five kilometres of a core grizzly bear zone in the Little Smoky caribou range, the company reported earlier this week.
The condensate has reached a nearby creek, with a surface sheen visible for about 4.5 kilometres below the leak, according to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).
“The creek flows to a beaver dam and then into the Simonette River,” Canadian Press reports. “The AER said the sheen was not visible on the river but an analysis indicated hydrocarbons present at slightly above minimum detection limits.”
Condensate is used as a diluent for tar sands/oil sands bitumen that makes it possible for the product to flow through a pipeline.