Husky Energy will wrap up its last round of planned open houses this week on its proposed Saskatchewan Gathering System pipeline project to be funded by Husky Midstream Limited Partnership.
The North Battleford Legion is hosting the final open house today from 2 to 7 p.m. following presentations in Prince Albert on Wednesday and Melfort on Tuesday.
“As you know, we held open houses in Lloydminster and Maidstone last November, and we have been engaging with communities (Indigenous and municipalities) on the project to keep them informed,” said Husky spokesperson Kim Guttormson.
“The open houses this week build on that engagement.”
Husky Midstream plans to build an expanded gathering system pipeline from their growing thermal operations north of the North Saskatchewan River connecting to upgrading and refining operations in Lloydminster.
The project involves the construction of a 52 kilometre 20-inch crude oil pipeline and a parallel 8-inch condensate line that will initially connect to the Spruce Lake North and Spruce Lake thermal facilities that will come on production in 2020.
It includes replacing about five kilometres of smaller pipelines in the system.
A section of the pipelines would be installed under the North Saskatchewan River and Big Gully Creek.
The proposed crossing point is about four kilometres downstream from where 225,000 litres of blended oil leaked from a break in Husky’s 16-inch TAN (Tangleflags) pipeline in July 2016, spilling 90,000 litres of mixed oil into the river.
The spill sent a plume of blended oil downstream causing the cities of Prince Albert, Melfort and North Battleford to take emergency measures to safeguard drinking water supplies for several months.
Husky is expected to make a second appearance in provincial court in Lloydminster on June 21 after they were granted an adjournment on May 29 for more time to review 10 charges of violating both Saskatchewan and federal environmental laws relating to the spill.
The charges were announced in late March after a 19-month joint federal-provincial investigation.
According to the Premier of Saskatchewan’s office, the company faces a possible maximum $1 million fine for one charge under the Environmental Management and Protection Act.
Husky representatives from safety, environment, facility construction, surface land, regulatory, engineering, operations and the business units were available at the open houses to provide information on the new pipeline project and answer questions.
The open houses outlined Husky plans to bore the oil and condensate lines at a depth of 80 metres under the river with safety features such as automated valve sites at both sides of water crossing to isolate product.
Fibre optic monitoring will be installed along the entire length of the pipeline from Lloydminster to the end point at Husky’s Celtic junction along with 24/7 leak detection devices.
Once the line is completed, Husky will decommission the repaired 16-inch TAN pipeline.
Husky was given the okay to restart the pipeline last October.
Guttormson said the estimated $80 million project has not changed since the initial open houses in Lloydminster and Maidstone in 2017 and no additional sessions are planned at this time.
The project also calls for the construction of a new 9.5 kilometre long, 20-inch diameter raw water pipeline to existing and future thermals for steam production.
The water line will follow the same pipeline right of way as the oil and condensate lines north of the river.
Husky expects the proposed project to generate an estimated 275-500 direct construction jobs and take at least six months to complete.
“I couldn’t speculate on when the regulator will be in a position to make a decision,” said Guttormson who notes the project is subject to an environmental assessment.