Alberta Oil Spill Smaller Than First Estimated

CALGARY, Alberta - The estimated size of an oil spill in a remote corner of northwestern Alberta has been cut dramatically, to about 5,000 barrels from 20,000 barrels.

A well owned by the Calgary producer Pace Oil & Gas Ltd. leaked oil near Rainbow Creek, Alberta, on May 19 and the first estimates put it among the largest spills in Alberta's history, and the worst since a 28,000-barrel leak from a Plains All American Pipeline L.P. last year.

Pace Oil Chief Executive Fred Woods said his company had miscalculated the size of the spill in the rush to deal with it last month. Pace is a small company with about 180 employees and produces about 15,000 barrel-of-oil equivalents a day.

Pace Oil was using the well to inject wastewater from a natural gas field underground. It's not clear what caused the spill, which is still under investigation by provincial regulators.


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