Long Lake integrated oil sands facility. Image courtesy of Nexen Energy/Flickr.

Nexen Energy confirmed Thursday that a pipeline leak at its Long Lake oil sands facility in Canada spilled about 31,5000 barrels of emulsion.

The company said that an emulsion leak was discovered on July 15 within it’s Long Lake operations south of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Emulsion is a mixture of bitumen, produced water and sand.

The spill size is currently estimated at 5,000 cubic meters of emulsion, or about 31,500 barrels, and affected an area of about 16,000 square meters, mostly within a compacted pipeline corridor.

There were no injuries reported and the pipeline has been isolated.

No water contamination has been reported, the Alberta Energy Regulator said.

“There are no reported impacts to the public or wildlife at this time,” the Alberta Energy Regulator added.

The company has not disclosed when it expects the pipeline to resume normal operations.

“Our emergency response plan has been activated and our response personnel are onsite. The leak has been stabilized and the site is under control,” Nexen said.

Nexen, a wholly owned subsidiary of China’s CNOOC, said it will continue to work with the Alberta Energy Regulator throughout its spill response.

The company added that it is also investigating the incident.

“All necessary steps and precautions have been taken, and Nexen will continue to utilize all its resources to protect the health and safety of our employees, contractors, the public and the environment, and to contain and clean up the spill,” Nexen said.

Production capacity at Long Lake is 72,000 barrels of bitumen per day, according to Nexen.


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