TransCanada's Pipeline Bursts In Northern Alberta
The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board and TransCanada Corporation are investigating the Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 rupture of TransCanada's natural gas pipeline in northern Alberta.

The EUB says the breaks resulted in no injuries or environmental damage.

The first break in the 36-inch pipeline carrying sweet gas occurred at approximately 5:45 p.m. Dec. 1 about 30 kilometres southwest of the community of Little Smokey, about 110 kilometres southeast of Grande Prairie, then at around 7 a.m. the next day another rupture and resulting fire occurred roughly 15 kilometres downstream of the original incident.

"The flow was shut in right away," said EUB spokesperson Bob Curran.

TransCanada said it immediately activated its emergency response plan to isolate damaged sections of the pipeline and allow the natural gas fires to burn themselves out.

The cause of the ruptures will take a while to determine, said Curran.

TransCanada said some shippers were impacted as a result of the second break; however, there are no further resulting impacts and deliveries of gas to local communities have not been impacted as a result of either incident.

This morning ARC Energy Trust said the line breaks have caused a shut-in of about 4,000 bbls of oil equivalent from the Ante Creek area.

Applications have been filed to drill six critical natural sour gas wells
1.1km S.E. of the city of Calgary.

Sour Gas and You
Should you be concerned?

Information Night
Oct. 21, 2003 @ 7 p.m.
St. Mary's College Gymnasium
14500 Bannister Road SE

Your community lies within the 15 km Emergency Planning Zone. This application is requesting a reduction of this zone to 4 km.

Do these wells have the potential to affect property values and the health of you and your family?

Guest Speakers:
Andrew Nikiforuk
Journalist and Award Winning Author of "Saboteurs"
Gavin Fitch
Environmental Lawyer with extensive experience before the EUB
Barbara Graff
an affected landowner

"The EUB’s policy is to ensure that, if there is a release of H2S, the health and safety of the public must be protected either by evacuation, by shelter in the area, or by ignition of the well, if the evacuation or shelter is not practical".


Downoad a PDF poster of the above information here

Site Map Sour Gas Backgrounder
1.) Sour gas is “dirty gas” that contains hydrogen sulfide, a cyanide-like poison that kills in small amounts. Alberta is the world’s leading producer of dirty gas: about 30% of its natural gas is sour.

2.) Since the 1960s sour gas has killed more than 35 oil and gas workers in Alberta and British Columbia; injured thousands of cattle and displaced approximately one hundred landowners. (National Post Business Magazine, 2002)

3.) Due to their lethal contents sour gas wells and pipelines freeze development on neighboring property by 100 metres or more. Farmers and ranchers with sour gas wells on their land have documented a 50% decrease in land values. The government offers no compensation for this expropriation.

4.) Sour gas flares have been associated with still births in down wind cattle (Waldner, 1999). Cattle exposed to sulfur dioxide, a byproduct of flared H2S, develop respiratory problems, tissue inflammation and immune problems. (Western Producer, June 17, 2002)

5.) A 2002 technical review of H2S by Alberta Health and Wellness found that H2S is a “broad-spectrum toxicant that can elicit numerous psychological and biological responses in the 0 to 20 ppm range.” Human data on short-term effects is “limited” and “for many organ systems, reliable information on effects following short-term exposure to H2S is almost completely lacking.”

6.) The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers notes that “an increasing number of residents in areas adjacent to sour oil and gas producing or processing operations are actively opposing sour gas developments.” In Adrossan more 1500 citizens successfully stopped a proposal for six sour gas wells last spring.

In eastern Calgary scores of citizens are challenging a similar proposal in an area inhabited by 250,000 people. And in Maycroft more than 100 ranchers are fighting a 30 % sour well proposed by Polaris Resources Ltd, a company with no assets in Alberta and no employees. El Paso is also proposing a sour gas well on a sacred Blackfoot burial ground in Brocket. It, too, is being contested.

Check out the "Must Reads" in the News & Reviews Sections

Readers and Critics Agree: Saboteurs is a good read!

WINNER of the Governor General's Literary Awards for Non-Fiction

Winner of the 2002 Arthur Ellis Award for Best True Crime

Winner of the W.O. Mitchell City of Calgary Book Prize

Finalist for the Wilfred Eggleston Award for Nonfiction

Evan Solomon's 10 Best Books List for 2001

Globe and Mail's Top 100 List

National Best Seller

Landowner's Collection: Alberta Oil Field Tour
click above for details
A family of true believers seeks God and renewal in the wilderness and unknowingly settles in northern Alberta’s rich and poisonous gas fields. When their paradise is invaded by Big Oil, they suspect that industrial pollution is the cause of miscarriages and a serious threat to the family’s health. Their charismatic leader, Wiebo Ludwig, launches a series of civil and legal appeals. These meet a solid wall of industry and government indifference.

A group of mysterious and skilful saboteurs emerges in the bush. Using guerrilla texts and even the Bible as guides, they attack dozens of gas wells, oil roads, company vehicles and gas pipelines, illustrating the vulnerability and indefensibility of North America’s energy infrastructure as well as the psychological power of terrorism. The violence escalates to death threats and shootings. Ludwig, a forceful and God-fearing cleric, declares war on industry and describes the sabotage terrorism as self-defense. He sympathizes with the saboteurs, he says, but repeatedly claims that neither he nor his family are the authors.

Despite millions of dollars’ worth of damage, the oil and gas companies merely beef up security and admit to nothing. They spend a fortune combating the symptoms (industrial sabotage) but not their source: industrial pollution. The RCMP, underfunded and understaffed, conclude that this kind of domestic terrorism simply can’t happen in Canada, dismissing an officer who calls for a full investigation.

Only when the bombs go off do the authorities belatedly react with a botched million-dollar investigation. After the shooting death of a 16-year-old girl on Ludwig's farm, his frightened religious community and the terrified citizens of Hythe and Beaverlodge threaten to engage in tribal warfare. To this day the root of the conflict, toxic industrial pollution in rural Alberta, remains largely unaddressed.

Saboteurs is a chilling tale of a fundamentalist crusade that ends in tragedy. It’s an unsparing look at the way insensitive authorities exacerbate problems they are meant to resolve. It’s chilling evidence that Canada’s national police force is unprepared for domestic terrorism. And it’s a remarkable work of investigative reporting that stands as an allegory for our time.

About the Author:
Andrew Nikiforuk’s work as a journalist has earned him four National Magazine Awards, the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy, and top honours from the Association of Canadian Journalists. One of his four previous books--School’s Out: The Catastrophe in Public Education and What Parents Can Do About It --was a national bestseller and was shortlisted for the Gordon Montador Award for writing on issues of key social interest. He lives in Calgary.

Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig’s War Against Big Oil, By Andrew Nikiforuk
1-55199-053-9 / 283pp / $34.99
Send Andrew your comments, questions or critiques to:
Read the exclusive excerpt in the October 1st issue of Canadian Business.

Read it online now by clicking here for the HTML version or click here to download the PDF version.

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