| CALGARY, Alberta, July 25
CALGARY, Alberta, July 25 Canada's energy
regulator has ordered Enbridge Inc to halt maintenance
work on its Line 3 crude oil pipeline near Cromer, Manitoba,
after an inspection in early July revealed a number of
environmental and safety concerns.
The National Energy Board said Enbridge had failed to put in
place measures to conserve topsoil, control erosion and manage
drainage, resulting in damage to wetlands and agricultural lands
and posing a safety hazard.
"The resumption of construction activities by Enbridge
without a full assessment of damages would cause further
detriment to property, safety of the public and the
environment," the NEB said in its order.
Enbridge will not be allowed to resume work on the pipeline
until the NEB judges the problems have been resolved.
The company has been ordered to create safe access for the
landowner across the pipeline right of way, complete an
assessment of safety and environmental issues by Aug. 4, and
revise its environmental protection plan by the end of August.
Line 3 carries Canadian crude from Edmonton, Alberta, to
Superior, Wisconsin, and currently runs at 390,000 barrels per
day. Enbridge plans to replace the entire line by 2017 at a cost
of C$7.5 billion ($6.9 billion), which will allow it to run at
full capacity of 760,000 bpd.
Enbridge spokesman Graham White said the NEB order relates
to regular maintenance on the pipeline and does not refer to the
Line 3 replacement project.
"Flood conditions in the spring and the heavy rainfall in
late June prevented us from accessing the area with the
equipment necessary to remedy the issues raised by the landowner
and known to us as well," he said. "Any issues that the NEB has
identified as safety concerns will be addressed immediately."
White said the maintenance work is still expected to be
completed on schedule by the end of 2014, and the NEB order has
had no impact on the flow of crude through Line 3.
"This is not related to work on the actual pipe, but is on
landowner property and regarding topsoil, drainage and fencing
near Cromer, so has no impact on capacity, flow or the larger
scope replacement project," he added.
(Editing by Peter Galloway)