Oil spill pipeline won't reopen this week: Enbridge

Sun Aug 1, 2010 5:46pm EDT
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By Steve James

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc's chief executive said on Sunday the company would not restart its ruptured pipeline in Michigan this week as it continues to clean up 800,000 gallons of oil spilled in and around the Kalamazoo River.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said there was "significant improvement" at the spill site after almost a week and no signs of new contamination.

Officials also gave an update on the cleanup efforts, saying 39,000 barrels -- about 1.6 million gallons -- containing oil and water have now been recovered.

The U.S. Department of Transportation ordered Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge last week to complete a number of precautionary steps before restarting the 286-mile pipeline carrying as much as 190,000 barrels per day of oil from northern Indiana to Sarnia, Ontario.

Chief Executive Officer Pat Daniel told a news conference in Michigan the company would give the EPA its updated draft of the plan on Sunday.

Asked when the company might reopen the pipeline, he stressed the decision was in the hands of federal regulators.

"We have no intention to start-up this week," he said in comments monitored in New York via teleconference.

Daniel said last week that making the pipeline ready to resume operation can take only a matter of days. The pipeline is operated by U.S. affiliate Enbridge Energy Partners   Continued...

<p>Booms are seen floating on the Kalamazoo river, after an oil pipeline, owned by Enbridge Energy Partners, leaked an estimated 820,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo river in Western Michigan near Marshall July 30, 2010. REUTES/Rebecca Cook</p>