Enbridge shuts 3rd pipeline, outages near 1 million bpd

Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:26pm EDT
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By Joshua Schneyer and Erwin Seba

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Canada's Enbridge on Monday said a suspected oil leak forced it to close another U.S. pipeline that carries Canadian crude, this time in New York State, just four days after a leak in Illinois forced it to shut a massive export pipeline.

The Canadian pipeline giant said it shut the 70,000 barrel per day (bpd) Line 10, a 91-mile pipe from Westover, Ontario, Canada into New York State.

A New York state official said the shutdown came after a suspected oil spill from the line -- which was likely less than one gallon -- near Buffalo, New York, around 300 miles northwest of New York City.

The latest closure meant Enbridge now has three U.S. stretches of pipeline shut in, with a combined capacity of 930,000 bpd. The shutdowns helped to prompt U.S. crude futures to month-long highs on Monday.

The Calgary-based company was also working to remove a leaky section of the largest oil pipeline linking Canada to the U.S. Midwest, Line 6A. It was found to be leaking crude in Illinois last Thursday.

The company has also kept its 190,000-barrel-per-day Line 6B pipeline shut since a it leaked almost 20,000 barrels into a Michigan waterway in late July.

Few details were available on the latest pipeline closure, at Line 10. An Enbridge spokesman, Glenn Herchak, said the line was shut after a "potential" leak, which remains under investigation.

Oil markets have been focused on the spill and repairs at Enbridge Line 6A. The massive pipeline that runs 467 miles from Superior, Wisconsin to Griffith, Indiana, is a main conduit of crude from Canada, the top oil supplier to the United States.   Continued...