Accident shuts down Enbridge pipeline

2012-03-05T11:10:00Z 2012-03-05T17:40:29Z Accident shuts down Enbridge pipelineBloomberg News JournalStar.com
March 05, 2012 11:10 am  • 

An Enbridge pipeline in Illinois that supplies refineries run by BP and Citgo Petroleum in the Chicago area was shut down after a fire and crude spill Saturday.

The line was closed after two vehicles collided and ignited a fire at an Enbridge pumping station near New Lenox, Ill., 36 miles southwest of Chicago. Two people were killed and several others injured in the crash that forced the company to shut lines 14/64 and 6A, Enbridge said. The 6A line has been restarted, Calgary-based Enbridge said.

Enbridge has completed the initial damage assessment, said Lorraine Little, a spokeswoman for Enbridge. Line 14 is projected to be shut down until Wednesday evening and 64 until Thursday afternoon.

"This could have a significant impact on regional prices in the U.S.," said Jason Schenker, president of Prestige Economics in Austin.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday, however, benchmark crude rose 2 cents to finish at $106.72 per barrel. Gasoline fell 1.4 cents to end at $3.2580 per gallon.

Nebraska's gasoline market is supplied by refined products pipelines coming from Oklahoma. 

The 14/64 pipe has capacity of 320,000 barrels per day and travels from Superior, Wis., to Mokena, Ill., according to Enbridge. The 6A, which can carry 670,000 barrels per day, runs between Superior and Griffith, Ind.. Both pipelines carry light, heavy or synthetic crude to refineries in the Chicago area.

Enbridge also slowed the movement of oil on its 2B and 3 lines running from Canada into the United States to better manage terminal inflow after the Illinois incident, the company said. The 2B line can carry 410,000 barrels per day, while the 3 pipeline can carry 390,000 barrels.

"All of the outbound pipeline capacity out of North Dakota and Canada was already running at capacity," said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. More pared pipeline capacity is "the last thing producers need."

Calary-based Enbridge's 491,200-barrel-per-day Line 5, which carries oil from Wisconsin to Michigan and Ontario, has been operating at a reduced rate since Feb. 17. That's when flow was resumed after being shut for two days when a leak was discovered near Sterling, Mich.

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