One spring, a client had a pipeline release of crude oil into fresh water river. The initial response to the spill was fast and free product was quickly recovered. The high water levels during the release carried the oil into side channels and overland in areas staining the trees and shrubs. By Summer’s end, the surficial (visual) part of the release was effectively complete. Now what… The next hurdle is to demonstrate that the spill had no long lasting measurable impacts on the river system thru effective long term monitoring. Chemistry Matters Inc. was retained as technical and scientific lead for development and interpretation of data from long term monitoring of the oil spill.
Baytex Energy has heavy oil operations in Northern Alberta. The type of production is called CHOPS which stands for Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand. The heavy oil production pumps oil to the surface into storage tanks that was heated to 80C to decrease the oil’s viscosity and make the oil flow more freely. Oil is kept in the tanks until tanker trucks come to the site and transfer the oil from the tanks to the trucks. The oil in the tanks can sit in the tanks for many hours before being taken away. Some of these tanks were left open to the atmosphere, where the thief hatch is opened. This is termed open venting and where the problem for the client begins.
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