Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) (NYSE:ENB) today confirmed the return to service of its Line 37 pipeline between Long Lake and Cheecham, Alberta at reduced operating pressure, and the return to full service of the Athabasca Pipeline (Line 19) between Fort McMurray and Cheecham.
Line 37 had been shut down June 22 as a result of a release of light synthetic crude oil caused by high rains which led to 1-in-100 year water levels that triggered ground movement on the right-of-way. The Athabasca Pipeline and other pipelines sharing a corridor with Line 37 had been shut down as a precaution. Following extensive engineering and geotechnical analysis, as well as excavation and inspection at several points on the pipeline, the northern segment of the Athabasca Pipeline was returned to service at reduced pressure July 1; the southern segment has been operating at normal pressure since June 23. The Wood Buffalo Pipeline (Line 75) continues to operate at reduced pressure pending completion of inspection on that line.
The majority of oil released from Line 37 has now been recovered. Industry and environmental regulators have been to the site and Enbridge has been providing regular updates on status of the clean-up, repair and remediation. Based on the amount of oil recovered, Enbridge has revised its estimate of the volume of light crude oil spilled to 1,300 barrels.
Enbridge has identified and implemented measures to mitigate ground forces on these lines and will continue such work so as to ensure all pipelines can be operated safely. Enbridge anticipates returning Line 37 and the Wood Buffalo pipelines to full pressure and capacity, although timing for completion cannot yet be determined.
The Waupisoo Pipeline (Line 18) between Cheecham and Edmonton is operating at normal pressure. The Woodland Pipeline (Line 49) between Fort McMurray and Cheecham had been in the process of linefill at the time of the shutdown; linefill activities into Cheecham are continuing.