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This article was published 27/3/2015 (2013 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
An oil spill on a three-well pad near Cromer leached out to the point where it affected adjacent farmland.
The spill dropped 30,000 litres of crude on the ground Monday after an O-ring on a check valve near the separator malfunctioned, causing oil to leak out.
Rob Crawford, environment health and safety manager at Corex Resources, said crews have been working to capture the fluid since the accident was discovered, and free-standing oil will be removed by vac trucks as early as Friday or Saturday.
Then soil scraping to clean up any stained areas will begin.
"Overall, we don’t feel there will be any long-term issues," Crawford said. "We should have everything good to go after breakup to be able to replace all of the black dirt and have it productive for this season."
It is expected one to four inches of soil will be removed.
Crawford said once the soil is removed, the area will undergo extensive testing checking for hydrocarbons to ensure the land is safe.
"When we are done soil scraping and make sure the analytics from the lab indicate it’s pristine and clean, we will do topsoil replacement and hopefully we will be able to get in just after breakup before the landowner sows the crop for the year."
If the area isn’t able to be seeded, Crawford said the landowner will be compensated.
There have been 16 oil, saltwater or miscellaneous spills attributed to the oil industry in the province in 2015.
A spill that resulted in a large quanity of saltwater and bitumen leaking into the soil near Waskada and this most recent spill near Cromer will bring the total to 18. Spills aren’t recorded in the "Manitoba Spill Report" until remediation work is complete.
"The company must provide information about the spill, such as the spill fluid makeup, spill location, landowner notifications, the spill source, estimated volume, location, control measures and other spill characteristics," a provincial spokesperson said.
The report lists the company, cause, amount of spilled fluid as well as the amount of recovered fluid and how much land — broken into whether the spill only occurred on an oil lease or whether it was off-lease land — was affected.
While the recovered volume is often similar in value to the amount of fluid that was spilled, it’s not the best indicator of how much of the spill was cleaned up.
For example, earlier this year Kripa Energy spilled 60,000 litres of saltwater after a rock ruptured a flowline. Despite dropping 60,000 litres, 560,000 litres of fluid was recovered from the site.
"In this particular spill, the spill ran into a slough, and required the removal of more fluid than the actual spill amount," the spokesperson said. "In certain instances, a spill will run into an area with snow or water, and more extensive cleanup is required."
Companies must notify the Manitoba Mineral Resources Petroleum Branch of any spill that occurs on land that hasn’t been leased or any spill more than 500 litres on land that is leased from a landowner or through a surface rights board.
Inspectors are sent to the site following a reported spill to ensure cleanup procedures are being followed and that the land is returned back to the condition it was before the spill.
"It’s unfortunate, but spills do happen and it’s the highest priority when it does happen," Crawford said. "We do our best and we go above and beyond criteria to ensure that this particular land is productive again for crops out of it."
Cromer is located 35 kilometres southwest of Virden.
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