Oil cleanup costs increase to $107 million

Crews employ booms to protect a city water intake shortly after the spill last July. Herald file photo.

The cost of cleaning up last summer’s pipeline spill has shot up by $17 million, according to information from Husky Energy’s financial report.

Husky Midstream Limited Partnership has incurred a total of $107 million in cleanup costs as of Dec. 31, 2016. Husky Energy owns 35 per cent of the partnership and operated the pipeline at the time of the spill, which released 225,000 litres of oil near and into the North Saskatchewan River.

The company reported costs of $90 million in a previous financial report. So far, $88 million has been recovered through insurance payments.

According to Husky CEO Robert J. Peabody, the company was already expecting higher costs.

“I think it’s not so much that the cost has gone up we just got more of the bills in,” he told reporters in a conference call.

“We’ve said from the very start that we were going to make sure this was an absolutely comprehensive cleanup and do whatever was required to restore the environment to the condition it was in prior to the spill.”

Peabody said that the pipeline is still off, and will remain out of service until they figure out precisely what happened.

“We want to have all the investigations finished,” he said, “particularly at the provincial level. They want to make sure they’ve gotten to the root cause, so we are absolutely sure that any revised installation is engineered to avoid future incidents like this.”

According to Husky spokesman Mel Duvall, cleanup efforts are now complete. He said that 210,000 litres were recovered.

For more on this story, please see the Feb. 25 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.