Enbridge works to fix Line 6A in Illinois, restart date not yet determined

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE:EEP) is working to fix the Line 6A pipeline that was shut-in last week due to a crude oil spill in Romeoville, Illinois. 

After excavating the section of pipeline on Monday, the company is working to weld a new piece of pipeline to replace the damaged section. 

Although the pipeline may be fixed by Wednesday, a restart date for the crude oil transport pipeline has not been set. 

“There is no current timeline for restart,” Terri Larson, a spokeswoman with Enbridge, told PennEnergy. “We do not yet know what is going to be required from a regulatory standpoint to get the pipeline back up and running.” 

Larson added discussions are ongoing to determine what authorities will require before restarting the pipeline. 

With the closure of the Line 6A pipeline, in addition to last month’s shut-in of Line 6B, which is another Enbridge pipeline, the price of oil jumped on supply constraints. Various media have reported that a restart of the pipeline is imminent, prompting the price of oil to drop by nearly $1 in intra-day trading on the NYMEX Tuesday. 

A leak occurred on the Line 6A pipeline near Chicago on Sept. 9, and Enbridge quickly shut-in the flow of oil on the system. When the leak occurred, Line 6A was transporting approximately 459,000 barrels per day of heavy crude oil. 

Enbridge confirmed Monday that virtually all of the 6,050 barrels of spilled oil has been cleaned-up by vacuum trucks, and approximately 300 staff is onsite to help with the operations. 

A part of the massive Lakehead System, Line 6A is a 34-inch-diameter, 670,000-barrel-per-day pipeline that transports light synthetics and crude oil from Superior, Wisconsin, to Griffith, Indiana. 

The cause of the pipeline leak has not yet been determined.

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