Trilogy Energy says the pipeline leak it discovered late last week in north central Alberta has covered an area about three hectares in size with oil emulsion — a damage zone equivalent to roughly four football fields.

In an update posted to its website late Tuesday, the Calgary−based oil and gas producer says it still doesn’t know the volume of the Oct. 6 spill into a marshland about 15 kilometres from Fox Creek, a small town of nearly 2,000 people located northwest of Edmonton.

According to the statement, company president John Williams and other managers travelled to the remote scene Tuesday to meet with the cleanup team and assess the extent of the spill. The pipeline has been shut down and purged, and the source of the leak has been maintained.

No injuries were reported, and the cause of the leak remains under investigation.

Staff on site at the spill include environmental and wildlife specialists working with representatives of the Alberta Energy Regulator, which last week, said the oil emulsion that leaked is about 50 per cent water and 50 per cent oil. Sampling and monitoring, recovery, waste management, wildlife and water control plans await approval from the AER, said the update, which also indicated that recovery and disposal of contaminated material has already begun.

"Trilogy continues to collect water and soil samples and conduct wetland and other environmental assessments to fully determine any potential impact on water bodies," said the statement.

"Trilogy has developed a diversion plan that will minimize the infiltration of surface water and prevent further disbursement of the spill. Trilogy also continues to monitor and deter wildlife from accessing the site."

Trilogy is a Canadian energy corporation formed from Paramount Resources in April 2005.

— with files from Canadian Press

National Observer exists thanks to reader subscriptions and donations. Please subscribe today.

Keep reading

Why would Trilogy submit an image of a random well head assembly? Release an aerial of the spill. Release the first water samples, release the volume of the spill. The incident is over a week old and still there are no relevant details on the compliance dashboard on the AER website. The AER, by their own boasting (and paying $2 million dollars to Penn State U), is a "world-class" regulator, protective, efficient, credible and transparent. This incident has not been handled in a "world-class" manner, with absolutely no transparency.

It is also disingenuous to state this is spill is 50% water. This spill is 50% produced water from the formation, which is chemically very different and far more toxic, than your average potable water.

Certain operators, with certain high profile names, seem to get their incidents shrouded in regulatory protection, to ensure share prices are not negatively impacted by environmental incidents.