Thursday, January 14, 2010

Enbridge restarts crude line involved in massive oil spill in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. - Enbridge Energy Partners LP of Houston, Texas, said that repairs to an oil pipeline that ruptured on Jan. 8 in North Dakota are now complete and the pipeline was placed back in operation at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 13.
Line 2b of Enbridge's Lakehead Pipeline System leaked an estimated 3,000 barrels (126,000 gallons) of light crude oil in Pembina County, N.D., on Jan. 8. The flow of oil continued on a parallel line and there was no interruption of crude deliveries to Enbridge's customers.
Enbridge said the spilled crude oil collected entirely within its easement. just south of the Canadian border near Neche, N.D. The damaged section of pipe has been sent to a lab for determination of why it ruptured.
Authorities say the ground was frozen at the leak site and didn't absorb the oil. Contaminated snow was taken to landfills.
There was no effect on water resources or wildlife in the area, Enbridge said.
The company and regulatory authorities are investigating the cause of the leak. The company has so far released no details of why the pipeline failed. However, Enbridge lines have experienced a number of ruptures attributed to transportation-induced weld seam stress cracking.
The pipeline is being operated at 80 percent of its maximum allowable operating pressure while Enbridge and regulators continue their investigations.
Line 2b, which was restarted, runs from Cromer, Manitoba, to Superior, Wis. Enbridge had closed the section between Cromer and Clearbrook, Minn., while the repairs were under way. The maximum capacity of the line is 440,000 b/d.
Enbridge Energy Partners LP is the Houston-based U.S. operating arm of Canadian pipeline company Enbridge. Portions of the failed crude line in Canada are owned and operated by Enbridge, while the portions in the United States are owned and operated by Enbridge Energy Partners LP.
Final cleanup continues at the leak site.

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