Introduction: 37 years of oil spills in Alberta

Global News

Timelapse: All spills of crude oil crude bitumen and synthetic crude in Alberta each year from 1975-2012. Each dot is one spill; dot size does not indicate spill size. Source: Energy Resources Conservation Board

Alberta’s had an average of two crude oil spills a day, every day for the past 37 years.

That makes 28,666 crude oil spills in total, plus another 31,453 spills of just about any other substance you can think of putting in a pipeline – from salt water to liquid petroleum.

It sounds like a lot. And it isn’t a number the provincial government throws around often.

Authorities point to a much more encouraging statistic: There were 1.5 incidents per 1000 kilometres of pipeline in 2011, and that figure’s been dropping for the past three years.

It’s true: According to a database of spills recorded by the Energy Resources Conservation Board and obtained by Global News…

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