Estimated reportable volume spilled
A reportable spill is one that exceeds the 2m3 (about 13 barrels) volume specified by the governing regulations for our operating areas. In 2014, we experienced an increase in the volume of reportable spills. We’re working to analyze why this happened so that we can enhance our approach to spill prevention. The increase in reportable spill volume was due to sizeable events at the following locations:
- Diluent spill at our Foster Creek oil sands project – approximately 400m3 (2,516 barrels) of diluent leaked from a connection between a tank and a transfer line into a containment area in December 2014. We’re actively remediating the site to recover all of the spilled diluent as well as investigating how this incident occurred so we can help prevent future incidents like this.
- Polymer spill at our Pelican Lake oil project – approximately 160m3 (1,007 barrels) of a polymer and fresh water mixture was released onto the ground in March 2014 when a valve on a gauge was left open and failed. Once the leak was identified, the system was immediately shut down and the area was isolated and cleaned up so that there was no lasting damage to the environment. To help ensure an incident like this does not occur again, we developed a new procedure at Pelican Lake to keep valves closed except when employees are taking a pressure reading from a gauge.