Rains hold back repairs, restarts of Enbridge Alberta pipelines

27 June 2013 23:37  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Rainy weather continues to hamper repairs of an Enbridge pipeline that spilled last weekend, the Canadian midstream company said on Thursday, but forecasted drier weather should aid the cause.

Recovery of oil and contaminated water continues along Line 37 in northern Alberta after about 750 bbl of light synthetic crude was released on 22 June, the company said in a news release.

Preliminary indications are that the heavy rainfall in the Fort McMurray area over the weekend led to soil movement that caused the pipe to fail, Enbridge said.

Due to the wet conditions, access to the lines has been limited to foot, all-terrain vehicles and helicopters, although a road now has been created to the leak site using rig mats, the company said.

Weather forecasts show clearing skies and warmer temperatures for the weekend, which should aid in the drying-out process.

As of Thursday morning, 2,000 feet of containment boom and 4,000 feet of absorbent had been deployed, Enbridge said.

After the leak was detected, Enbridge shut down all pipelines in the area as a precaution.

It returned the Athabasca pipeline (Line 19) between Cheecham and Hardisty to service on 23 June and the Waupisoo line between Edmonton and Cheecham on 25 June.

Remaining shut down are Line 37, which connects the Long Lake oil sands project to Enbrdge’s Cheecham Terminal, as well as the Athabasca and Wood Buffalo pipeline segments between Fort McMurray and Cheecham.

Enbridge said it is gathering data and analysing the engineering of those lines, but extremely wet conditions continue to plague the response effort.

The company estimated the shutdown of the lines could have an impact on revenue of up to $1m/day (€770,000/day).

The cost of the cleanup of the oil spill has not been estimated, Enbridge said.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Jeremy Pafford
+1 713 525 2653

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