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…

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