Rainbow Pipeline Incident

News Releases


08/26/11 - Plains Midstream Canada to Resume Flow on Northern Segment of Rainbow Pipeline

Calgary, Alberta Plains Midstream Canada (Plains) has received approval from the ERCB to restart the NPS 20” Rainbow Pipeline. Plains intends to resume service on the northern segment of the pipeline on Tuesday, August 30, 2011. The line has been shut down since a crude oil release was confirmed on Friday, April 29, 2011.

Crude oil flows on the pipeline, which transports crude oil from Zama to Nipisi, AB, will be restored gradually over a seven-day period following initial restart.


05/15/11 - Plains Midstream Canada: Rainbow Pipeline incident update

Peace River, Alberta – Clean-up operations at Plains Midstream Canada’s Rainbow pipeline release site have been suspended due to a forest fire threat. The Northern Sunrise County Emergency Response Centre has issued an evacuation order effective 11:00 a.m.

Plains has been instructed to evacuate on-site staff. Clean-up operations will resume once the evacuation order is lifted, and it is determined safe to do so. The safety of our workers remains our primary concern.

Additional information on forest fire status in Alberta can be found on Alberta Sustainable Resource Development’s website .


05/11/11 - Rainbow Pipeline cleanup operations to resume tomorrow after temporary suspension

Calgary, Alberta – Plains Midstream Canada (PMC) plans to resume cleanup operations tomorrow at the Rainbow Pipeline release site following a work suspension today to investigate an unidentified call for help on the workers’ radio system.

“Our primary concern is and continues to be the safety and security of our workers,” says Stephen Bart, vice president of Operations, Plains Midstream Canada. “We fully combed the area to ensure that all workers have been accounted for. We have also accounted for all of the radios.”

Once the call was received at 9:30 a.m., the company sounded an alarm and had workers congregate at muster points. The company conducted multiple patrols at the site, including an aerial search and multiple comprehensive sweeps by foot – both inside and outside the release site perimeter. The afternoon cleanup shift was cancelled as a precaution.

PMC is still investigating who initiated the call for help and how the call was generated.

“Our investigation has now turned to the source of the distress call,” Bart says. “We are working to ensure we have a secure radio system for our ongoing operations.”

The release site is located in Northern Sunrise County, Alberta, which is approximately 100 kilometers Northeast of Peace River, Alberta. Cleanup operations began on April 29 after a release along the pipeline’s 30 metre right-of-way. The release has been contained and approximately a third of the oil has been recovered.

Cleanup work is scheduled to restart tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m.


5/11/11 Plains Midstream Canada: Rainbow Pipeline incident update

Peace River, Alberta  Plains Midstream Canada (PMC) has temporarily suspended cleanup operations at the Rainbow Pipeline release site after receiving an unidentified call for help on the workers’ radio system at 9:30 a.m. (MST).

As a precautionary measure, PMC is completing a worker head count and conducting onsite patrols to ensure all workers have been accounted for.

Plains’ primary concern remains the safety of its workers. An update will be provided once the status of the situation has been confirmed.


5/3/11 - Cleanup Ongoing At Pipeline Leak Northeast of Peace River

Calgary, Alberta  The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) continues to work with Plains Midstream Canada, Alberta Environment and other appropriate agencies during cleanup efforts following a crude oil pipeline failure about 100 km northeast of Peace River on April 29.

The break point of the pipeline has been isolated and there is no further flow of crude oil. An estimated 4,500 m3 (28,000 barrels) of crude oil leaked and has collected along the pipeline’s 30-metre right-of-way and spread into nearby stands of stagnant water, where it is contained. Approximately 100 response personnel are on the scene working on containment, oil recovery, line repair and site remediation. Skimmers are collecting the oil from the water. Soil cleanup preparations are underway. Staging areas are being established for separating oil and collecting waste from the site. There has been no migration of oil from the affected area, which is being fenced off.

Plains Midstream staff confirmed the leak at 7:30 a.m. on April 29. The leaked oil remains 300 metres from any flowing water or runoff.

The nearest residence is more than 7 km away. Air monitors are in place at the site and have detected no hydrocarbon levels above Alberta Ambient Air Quality guidelines. There have been no injuries resulting from the incident and there is no threat to public safety.

ERCB inspectors are at the site and an investigation is already underway. All appropriate authorities have been notified.

Pipeline leaks in Alberta are rare. In 2009, Alberta’s pipeline industry set a record-low pipeline failure rate of 1.7 per 1,000 kilometres of pipeline, bettering the previous record-low of 2.1 set in both 2008 and 2007.


4/29/11 - Plains Midstream Canada Comments on Pipeline Incident

Calgary, Alberta Earlier today Plains Midstream Canada (Plains) coordinated with the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) on the issuance of a press release regarding a release of crude oil along the Rainbow pipeline in the Evi area, located east of the Peace River, AB. Plains has the following to add to that press release:

"Environmental assessment staff, spill response specialists, and monitoring equipment are being mobilized. Our crews are working to contain the spill, minimize its impact, and begin clean-up efforts. Southbound crude oil flows on the Rainbow Pipeline from the Nipisi Terminal to Edmonton remain in service."

Plains Midstream Canada is an indirect subsidiary of Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (NYSE:PAA)