There was reaction on Friday to a long-awaited report looking into what caused a Husky Energy pipeline to burst near Maidstone in July.
The report, which was released by Husky Energy on Thursday, said the line buckled with ground movement, but described the pipeline failure as a one-time event.
However, a University of Saskatchewan professor, who is an expert in geology, feels a slope failure could happen again.
“I wouldn’t want to bet money on slope failures to not happen again. It’s going to happen. I just don’t know when,” said Grant Ferguson, who has done numerous studies on riverbank movement on the North Saskatchewan River.
The report stated the pipeline was installed in 1997.
At that time, a third-party assessment concluded the area was not geotechnically active. However, things have changed.
“Over the past five to six years the province has gone into a wet phase,” Ferguson said.
“I think that’s been pegged with a lot of the slope and stability failures around riverbanks.”
Husky said they will take steps to ensure that history does not repeat itself.
Those measures include regular re-assessments related to geotechnical risks along with regular reviews of leak detection practices and procedures.
“I expect, going forward, there will be tougher environmental monitoring for slopes and ground movement around pipelines,” he said.
But Ferguson also thinks it’s impossible to not build pipelines that don’t cross water.
“If you’re going from Edmonton to Southern Ont. or down through the states you will cross rivers,” he said.
“Going forward maybe we should get better instruments to prevent spills, come up with better designs or locations to build pipelines.”