Oil Pipeline Valve Fails Test

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 @ 10:07 AM gHale

A valve fitting on Enbridge’s Inc’s 491,000 barrel a day Line 5 oil pipeline failed during a hydrostatic test late on Sunday, putting off the restart of the pipeline, an Enbridge spokesman said.

The pipeline between Superior, WI, and Sarnia, Ontario, shut since last Thursday for the test. The valve failed near Bay City, MI, spokesman Graham White said Monday.

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“Enbridge crews repaired the valve fitting this morning, and the hydrostatic test was resumed. Line restart has not yet been determined,” White said.

Enbridge denied a report there was an oil and water leak from Line 5 in Michigan.

The incident was “Not a leak, but a valve fitting failure,” White said.

Line 5, consistently oversubscribed as demand for space exceeds capacity, was carrying out the test in advance of a planned expansion of the line’s capacity by 50,000 bpd. In July, Enbridge said shippers got only 74 percent of the space they requested on the line.

Enbridge’s pipelines carry the bulk of the country’s U.S.-bound exports. A source familiar with Enbridge pipeline operations said Line 5 should be up and running normally soon, with providing further detail.

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