4 Min Read
* Michigan rupture shut off 190,000 bpd Line 6B
* Some pipelines running at capacity
* Expects to file new restart plan Friday
By Scott Haggett
CALGARY, Alberta, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO) has not been forced to ration oil shipments on its North American pipeline system because of its Michigan oil spill, a company executive said on Thursday.
Steve Wuori, president of Enbridge's liquids pipelines division, said space on some of the Canadian company's other lines is tight following the July 26 rupture, which spilled more than 800,000 gallons of oil sands crude into a Michigan river system near Kalamazoo.
However the company has not been forced to tell oil producers to limit shipments on its other lines -- a practice called apportionment -- despite the loss of 190,000 barrels per day of capacity on the ruptured Line 6B.
"We have not needed to apportion yet," Wuori said on a conference call. "Certainly, some of the lines are very much at capacity and storage levels generally are high upstream (of the spill) just because of the restricted flow into downstream markets."
Line 6B is part of Enbridge's massive pipeline system that carries the bulk of Canadian crude oil exports to the United States. The segment, which originates in Griffith, Indiana, carries oil to refineries in the U.S. upper Midwest and the Sarnia area of southern Ontario, which produce more than 700,000 barrels of fuel a day.
Three of the refineries that depend on oil from the broken line have had to cut production. United Refining Co, which which runs a 65,000 barrel a day plant in Warren, Pennsylvania, warned on Wednesday that fuel shortages are possible if the outage goes on much longer. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Factbox on the impact on refiners [ID:nN05262825]
Graphic of the pipeline and refiners affected here ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>
The break near Marshall, Michigan, spilled about 19,500 barrels of Cold Lake blend crude into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River. Cleanup operations are still under way.
Enbridge can still not say when it will be allowed to restart the line. Earlier this week U.S. regulators rejected plans to resume oil shipments because they want the pipeline operator to investigate at least four other sections of line where testing showed anomalies similar to one at the site of the rupture, as well as conduct pressure tests.
The company has until Friday to file revised plans with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, a deadline Enbridge expects to meet.
It also plans to excavate and test other sections of the line in addition to those requested by the regulator.
"In addition to the four that were requested ... we will probably propose a few additional dig locations," Wuori said. "I won't attempt to define a timeline for all of that."
Enbridge shares fell 1 Canadian cent to C$50.44 on the Toronto Stock Exchange while Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP.N), its U.S. affiliate, fell 44 cents to $54.95 in New York.
$1=$1.04 Canadian Editing by Rob Wilson