Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Enbridge has pipeline failure, spills 1400 barrels near Elk Point, Alberta

A map of the pipeline route
and spill location.

On Monday, Enbridge had a 1,450 barrel leak from its Athabasca Pipeline near Elk Point about 120 miles east of Edmonton.

The leak was at a pumping station in the 540 km pipeline that runs from Fort McMurray to the hub at Hardisty, Saskatchewan. It usually carries 345,000 barrels of oil sands crude per day. I think it's mostly synthetic crude from the integrated upgraders at the big mines, not diluted bitumen, but I don't really know.

Apparently, Enbridge found a workaround and started operating the pipeline again shortly after, but on Tuesday the ERCB shut 'em down. They don't know how long it's going to be down, maybe days, maybe weeks.

Reuters says the leak was 1,400 barrels, but RigZone says 1,450. Enbridge is also planning to expand the pipeline to 570,000 barrels per day.

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