Alberta regulator critical of two companies following Swan Hills pipeline spills

CALGARY – Alberta’s energy regulator has cited two companies for three separate pipeline spills in 2011 in an area 200 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

The Energy Resources Conservation Board has issued a high-risk enforcement action against Pembina Pipeline Corporation for a leak of 1,300 barrels of oil near the community of Swan Hills.

It says the company neglected to immediately inform the board about the July 20 spill and a second leak nearby three weeks later.

Stress corrosion cracking of the pipe was blamed for the leak.

The board directed Pembina to dig up parts of it line to inspect for potential stress corrosion cracking in all of its pipelines.

A low-risk action was issued against Pengrowth Energy for operating the pipeline for more than a year under faulty construction practices before another pipeline failure near Swan Hills.