Monday, August 9, 2010

Refiners scramble for crude as ruptured Enbridge line remains down

CALGARY, Alta. - Refineries in the U.S. upper Midwest and southern Canada were scrambling on Aug. 4 to secure alternative crude supplies as Enbridge Inc. was reworking some of its cleanup plans for the company's Line 6B rupture in Michigan.
The pipeline, which is operated by affiliate Enbridge Pipeline Partners, LP, ruptured on July 25, spilling an estimated 19,500 barrels of dilbit (tar sands bitumen plus diluent) into the Kalamazoo River. That cut 190,000 b/d of supply to the refineries. Nine days after the rupture, Enbridge still had no estimate for a restart time.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved many of Enbridge's work plans for health and safety, pipeline repair and waste treatment and disposal, but rejected its proposed sampling and analysis strategy for a second time.
Susan Hedman, the EPA's regional administrator, gave no specific reasons for send it back, saying there were numerous aspects of the complex plan that required attention.
Line 6B, serves refineries in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and southern Ontario, which combined process more than 700,000 b/d.
Refinery runs has been hampered only minimally so far, but all have said they had been forced to rearrange their plans to secure feedstock from other sources.

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