About sixty men in the typical garb of the oil and gas industry descended on Capilano Park in Edmonton on Wednesday, September 12, but not because there had been an actual oil leak into the North Saskatchewan River.
It was just a routine training exercise for thirty pipeline integrity, operations, emergency response, liquid pipelines, regulatory, environmental management and facilities personnel from Enbridge Pipelines, and thirty additional personnel from Pembina Pipeline Corporation.
“Several times a year, according to regulatory requirements,” said Enbridge spokesperson Graham White, discussing how often such training exercises are conducted by the company.
The only difference this time around was that they partnered with their peers from Pembina to run this session.
“It is vital not just for regulatory reasons,” Graham continued, explaining the value of the exercies, “but to ensure our level of preparedness and response is adequate, coordinated, effective and efficient for any incident. We need to be able to provide assurance to ourselves, regulators and the public that we are capable of fulfilling our very serious commitment to public safety and to mitigating any environmental impacts.
“And this is just this type of exercise for this region. We conduct many other exercises in all the regions in which we operate.”
Enbridge chose that section of the North Saskatchewan River not because they have pipelines crossing the water in that area, but because it is similar to other locations across North America where they do have water crossings.
“Also,” said Graham, “this site allows us to consolidate resources and equipment from several different areas and partners – Pembina, for example – to ensure we have what we need in the event of an actual incident and that everything works together effectively and efficiently.”