Enbridge says Line 14 repairs to wrap up on Tuesday

Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:04pm EDT
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By Scott Haggett and Ayesha Rascoe

CALGARY/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc said on Monday that repairs to a ruptured Wisconsin pipeline could be complete as early as tomorrow, though regulators have not yet said when they will allow the company to restart the line.

U.S. pipeline regulators said no decision had been made on whether Enbridge will have to take any corrective measures before restarting a pipeline shuttered after spilling more 1,000 barrels of crude oil in Wisconsin.

"Everything is still being looked at," said Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration spokesman, Damon Hill.

The 318,000 barrel per day Line 14 -- which carries Canadian crude to refiners in the Midwest -- was shut on Friday after the discovery of the spill, the latest in a series of incidents that threaten to damage the reputation of a company that launched its most ambitious expansion program ever just two months ago.

It came almost two years to the day after a ruptured Enbridge line fouled part of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, spilling more than 20,000 barrels of oil.

Enbridge said in a statement that while repairs to the line could be complete on Tuesday, it will not know when crude shipments will restart until it wraps up that work.

With U.S. oil inventories in the Midwest brimming, analysts said there was no imminent threat to crude market supply unless the shutdown proved to be prolonged. U.S. oil futures eased on Monday, dropping 35 cents to $89.78 per barrel.

The spill occurred in the month-end gap between trading periods for Canadian cash crude, so it had no immediate impact on prices for the next delivery month, September. Cash gasoline in Chicago rallied, however, boosted by the pipeline shutdown and problems at three regional refineries, rising 13.5 cents per gallon and was pegged at 22 to 25 cents over August gasoline futures.   Continued...

Enbridge Inc. CEO Patrick Daniel speaks during their annual general meeting for shareholders in Toronto, May 9, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch