EnCana accepts OGC recommendations

 
Photo: An eroded Tee caused the gas leak near Pouce Coupe on November 22nd, 2009 – submitted.

By Christine Rumleskie

Representatives from EnCana are apologizing for the November’s gas leak near Pouce Coupe.

In a telephone conference on Thursday, EnCana officials explained they are fully accepting all 12 of the recommendations made in a report by the Oil and Gas Commission.

The report stems from a sour gas leak, which evacuated 18 nearby residents for around four hours. Sand had eroded a piece of pipeline infrastructure, called a ‘Tee’, which had caused the hole in the equipment.

Spokesperson Mike McAllister says EnCana is taking full responsibility for the incident.

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The OGC report indicated EnCana took too long to respond to the leak, and that the pipeline equipment wasn’t properly maintained.

The report says residents noticed ‘sewage’ smells as early as 2:30 a.m. in the morning. But EnCana claims it didn’t receive notification from residents until much later.

The report also notes the residents did not have contact numbers for EnCana, and so decided to inform the RCMP instead. In part, that’s because they didn’t understand the protocols established in the company’s Public Information Package.

Despite being on high alert from looming threats of another bombing, McAllister says EnCana decided to notify the Provincial Emergency Program after the leak was verified.

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Nevertheless, EnCana says it’s already implementing many of the OGC’s recommendations.

McAllister says it has inspected 500 wells which have a similar design as the one in Pouce Coupe. He also says a thorough review is being done on EnCana’s emergency response program, community information program, and gas leak-detecting equipment.

To view the OGC’s report, click on the attachment below.