Lubicon Lake chief responds to Murphy oil spill in northern Alberta

LITTLE BUFFALO, Alta. – The chief of the Lubicon Lake First Nation says there are concerns that the band was not notified of an oil spill in one of their hunting and trapping areas until 11 days later.

Bernard Ominayak says it is “critical” for Murphy Oil Company Ltd. to develop an integrated emergency response plan so band members can be alerted as soon as possible.

Murphy Oil says up to 17,000 barrels of petroleum product spilled on March 1 at its Seal heavy oil site in northern Alberta.

The Arkansas-based company said it found condensate near the surface in three areas.

The Alberta Energy Regulator said initially Murphy Oil reported a spill of about 94 barrels, but later the company said it turned out to be much larger.

Ominayak says the health and safety of the environment and the people in the area is the primary concern.