Skip to main content

New analysis states proposed Northern Gateway pipeline will have significant spill

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

A new report has concluded that the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline has a 98.5% risk of a significant spill in the pipeline’s first 50 years of operation.

The April 2013 report, entitled ‘A spill risk assessment of the Enbridge Northern Gateway project’, by Dr. Thomas Gunton and Sean Broadbent of the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University, analyses the likelihood of a spill by looking at all parts of the pipeline and export process.

The report states: ‘Enbridge provides separate estimates of the likelihood of spills for each of the three major components of the project: tanker operations, terminal operations, and the oil and condensate pipelines. Enbridge does not combine these separate estimates to provide an overall estimate of the probability of spills for the entire project

The report also claims that Enbridge’s own spill risk analysis contains 28 major deficiencies. Furthermore, the report claims that restating Enbridge’s own findings as probabilities over the whole project life shows that spill likelihood is high.

Enbridge has declared the analysis to be flawed, saying that the risk is much lower. In an official statement, published on its website, Enbridge counters: “While we have spent enormous effort and resources modeling the possibility of an incident, our number one priority is on safety and preventing an incident from occurring in the first place”. The statement goes on to say: “We are very concerned about the misleading report released by Mr. Gunton, who was a witness for the Coastal First Nations organisation during the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel process.”

The Northern Gateway pipeline would span 1177 km, transporting 525 000 bpd of oil from the oilsands deposits near Edmonton to Kitimat, with condensate lines running the reverse route back to Edmonton.

Written by Elizabeth Corner.

Read the article online at:


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):