Bloomberg News

Failed Wisconsin Oil Pipe Section Heads to Lab, U.S. Says

July 29, 2012

The section of an Enbridge Energy Partners LP (EEP:US) pipeline that leaked crude will be sent to a metallurgical laboratory to determine the cause of the release that shut part of the world’s longest oil pipeline, U.S. regulators said.

All the pooled oil has been cleaned up at the site of the July 27 leak from Line 14 near Grand Marsh, Wisconsin, Patricia Klinger, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, said in an e-mailed statement today. An estimated 1,200 barrels (50,400 gallons) spilled.

Two inspectors from the Washington-based agency remain on site, Klinger said. She didn’t provide an estimated restart time or date for Line 14, part of Houston-based Enbridge’s Lakehead System, which supplies 70 percent of the crude processed in Chicago-area refineries, according to the company’s website.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent an emergency response team to conduct air monitoring operations, the agency said in an e-mail. EPA also set up a command group to include state and company officials and is overseeing excavation of contaminated soil and vegetation.

Three nearby conduits that run through the same rights-of- way as Line 14 -- Lines 6A, 61 and 13 -- were shut as a precaution; of those, only Line 13 remains closed, Lorraine Little, a company spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview today. Grand Marsh is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of Madison, Wisconsin.

Probable Violations

The leak occurred 25 days after the pipeline regulator notified Enbridge Energy Partners and its parent company, Enbridge Inc. (ENB), of probable violations of federal rules in a July 2010 leak in Michigan that was more than 10 times larger than last week’s spill in Wisconsin.

The parent company announced a $3 billion expansion of its network in May to deliver more oil from the Great Plains and western Canada to refineries in the U.S. East and Ontario.

Enbridge Energy Partners gained 1.8 percent to $29.50 on July 27. The shares fell 11 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Carroll in Chicago at jcarroll8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net


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Companies Mentioned

  • EEP
    (Enbridge Energy Partners LP)
    • $36.19 USD
    • 0.07
    • 0.2%
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