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Up to 3,000 barrels of crude oil have spilled from a pipeline into a tributary of the Red Deer River in west-central Alberta.
Plains Midstream Canada says when the spill was discovered Thursday night it closed off its network of pipelines in the area. The oil spilled into Jackson Creek near the community of Sundre, about 100 kilometres from Red Deer.
Recent heavy rains have swollen streams and rivers in the area, some to near flood stage, and local officials are concerned the oil will spread more quickly down the system.
The spill comes as Plains Midstream continues to clean up an April 29, 2011 pipeline spill of 4.5 million litres of oil northeast of Peace River, Alta.
That leak — one of the largest in Alberta history — happened in a remote area on the 772-kilometre, 44-year-old Rainbow line between Zama, Alta., and Edmonton.
Early estimates suggested that spill was only several hundred barrels of oil. It wasn’t until four days later that the energy board reported the full extent of the leak from a centimetre-wide crack around the bottom of the pipe.