Enbridge says slowly resumes operations after Canadian wildfire

Thu May 12, 2016 2:26pm EDT
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By Julie Gordon

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote)(ENB.N: Quote) said on Thursday it was steadily resuming service on its pipeline network through Canada's energy heartland about a week after a massive wildfire spread through the Fort McMurray, Alberta, area, forcing a shutdown.

Canada's largest pipeline company also reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, as crude shipments increased.

The Calgary-based company said the shutdown, which included all pipelines in and out of its Cheecham terminal some 50 km (31 miles) south of the fire-ravaged city, affected some 900,000 barrels per day of volume on its system.

Chief Executive Officer Al Monaco said operations had resumed at Cheecham and that the Woodland pipeline was ready to restart. The company was waiting to get access to conduct a fly-over inspection as fire crews were still working in the area.

He added that the roughly 100-km (62.14 mile) portion of the Athabasca line from Cheecham to the Kirby Lake terminal was expected to resume operations over the weekend. Line 18, which travels south from Cheecham to Edmonton, resumed on Wednesday.

"So (we're making) good progress on getting our systems back in operations, but the process isn't like turning on a tap," Monaco said on a conference call. "You've got to expect some period of ramp-up to full capacity."

Enbridge shares were up 1.74 percent at C$51.60 in Toronto.

Monaco also said Enbridge is focused on securing support for its Northern Gateway project as currently designed, though he did not entirely discount changing the terminus location.   Continued...

The Enbridge Tower is pictured on Jasper Avenue in Edmonton in this August 4, 2012 file photo.  REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber/Files