Mel Duvall, a spokesperson for Husky Energy points to where a new 20-inch oil pipeline and 8-inch condensate line will cross the North Saskatchewan River as part of an $80 million project for Husky’s midstream operations. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
Husky Energy plans to route a new pair of oil and condensate pipelines across the North Saskatchewan River, as part of an $80 million Saskatchewan Pipeline Gathering System Project.
The routing of a 20-inch crude oil pipeline and an 8-inch condensate line was revealed during project open houses in Maidstone and at the Wild Rose Pavilion in Lloydminster last week.
The crossing point of the 52 kilometre long pipeline is downstream from where 225,000 litres of blended oil leaked from a break in Husky’s 16-inch TAN (Tangleflags) pipeline in July 2016, spilling 90,000 litres of mixed oil into the river.
“We’re going downstream, roughly four kilometres downstream, to a selected river crossing location where the banks are less steep; they are flatter banks,” said Husky spokesperson Mel Duvall.
An existing TransGas pipeline crosses in that location, which was selected after a geotech drilling rig drilled both sides of the river and confirmed it as a stable location and an optimal point to cross.
Once the line is completed by the first quarter of 2019, Husky will decommission the repaired 16-inch TAN pipeline.
A Husky investigation into the spill determined a break in the TAN pipeline was caused by ground movement about 160 metres from the shoreline.
That pipeline has been operating since the Ministry of Environment gave the company the OK to restart it on Oct. 12, following repairs and the implementation of pipeline safety technology and reporting requirements.
“All the various improvements we put on the line including the fibre optic monitoring, thicker pipe, the various additional monitoring systems that we are putting on the repaired line, will be in place on this new line,” said Duvall.
Fibre optic monitoring will be installed along the entire length of the pipeline from Lloydminster to the end point at Husky’s Celtic Junction, along with 24/7 leak detection devices.
“So, we are doing high-grade steel, thicker wall thickness, we are taking a lot of our learnings from the 16-TAN and applying them to the 20-inch pipeline,” said Duvall.
The original bore on the 16-inch TAN pipeline went from water edge to water edge, but the new set of lines will go from hilltop to hilltop on the banks.
The lines will be bored to a depth of 80 metres under the river.
“We’re going very deep, all the way under and avoiding the geotechnical area,” said Duvall. There will also be automated valve sites at both sides of the water crossing to isolate product.
Duvall said being able to operate the repaired 16-TAN line again significantly reduces the need for Husky to haul oil by truck, as they did when the line was out of order.
“Getting the line up and running allows us to get those trucks off the roads, particularly with winter coming on it’s safer not to keep those trucks running,” he said.
“We always need to do some trucking because our CHOPS wells still require some trucking, but this will alleviate a lot of that need.”
Construction of the new pipeline project along with some other components is expected to start next summer, pending approval from Saskatchewan regulators-, and will take six months to complete.