More oil spill worries

Letter to the editor


I’d like to bring to your attention the May 2011 spill of approximately 1,500 barrels of oil from an Enbridge pipeline in the Northwest Territories, as reported on the CBC website.

In the story it was written that “Enbridge officials didn’t know how the leak began, but they said the oil leaked out of an opening about the size of a pinhole. Oil coming out of such a small opening has, over time, created a spill about half a hectare in size, according to the company.” In the CBC news report, company executive Zupan said Enbridge makes regular aerial surveillance checks on the Norman Wells pipeline and uses internal inspection tools to detect leaks, but  those systems failed because the hole was so small. (The CBC story is available online at, and was published on June 7.)

This pinhole leak happened, undetected, for who knows how long even with their aerial surveillance checks and internal inspection tools.

I do not believe that the risks involved in trenching and tunnelling a pipeline through British Columbia and shipping the crude oil in quarter mile long tankers through the Douglas Channel warrant whatever financial gains Enbridge claims exist.

Carlie Kearns


Smithers Interior News