Mar. 12, 2015 Little Buffalo, AB — Murphy Oil Company Ltd. met with Chief Bernard Ominayak and the Government of the Lubicon Lake Nation this morning to discuss the extent and impacts of an estimated 2.7 million litre (17,000 Bbl) spill of hazardous condensate near Seal Lake, Alberta, a hunting and trapping area of interest for the Lubicon Lake Nation.
Condensate is a light hydrocarbon liquid that is mixed with heavy oil after extraction to make it easier to transport. As a compound it is known to be toxic and high in benzene. When exposed to the atmosphere benzene does evaporate and can reduce air quality to harmful levels according to officials.
The condensate spill was initially located on March 1, 2015 according to Murphy Oil, but was not reported to the Lubicon Lake Nation until 11 days later when questions were raised regarding local and media reports of the incident.
It is critical that Murphy Oil address creating an integrated emergency response plan, as we have done with other resource companies in the area, so we can alert our people as soon as these incidents occur when they are on the land exercising our Aboriginal rights,” said Chief Ominayak.
It is not known how long the 3 inch pipe has been ruptured and leaking according to Murphy Oil who indicated that an investigation has begun.
Chief Bernard Ominayak said in the meeting: “First and foremost our concern as the government of the Lubicon Lake Nation is the health and safety of our people and environment.”
Murphy Oil provided initial maps of the spill area which will be available on the Lubicon Lake Nation website. They also committed to an ongoing dialogue with the Lubicon Lake Nation, the results of which will be made available to Lubicon citizens.