Tag Archives: Enbridge

Enbridge – Work on pipeline to begin later this year in Michigan

A portion of a large-diameter interstate crude oil pipeline that runs through Oxford and Addison townships (Michigan) is due to be replaced later this year by Canadian-based energy distribution company, Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge, Inc. will begin work on Oxford and Addison’s portions of what is known as Line 6B at some point between June 1 and Dec. 31, according to Jack Manshum, a spokesman for the company.

“That’s the plan as of right now,” he said. “We’re in the process of developing the construction timeline.”

Line 6B is a 285-mile crude oil pipeline that begins in Indiana, crosses southeastern Michigan and ends in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. It serves refineries in Michigan, Ohio and eastern Canada.

This year, Enbridge plans to replace approximately 50 miles of Line 6B with new 30-inch diameter pipeline (the same size as the existing one) from Ortonville to the St. Clair River in Marysville. The portion that runs through Oxford is approximately 6.5 miles in length, while Addison’s portion is approximately 6 miles long, according to Manshum.

This is part of a much larger construction project that spans approximately 210 miles across Michigan and Indiana.

The Michigan Public Service Commission approved Enbridge’s application for this phase of the pipeline project on Jan. 31

“We’ve haven’t formally announced the details yet as to when we’ll be in each county or in each area,” Manshum said. “We’re in the middle of outlining that entire plan. So, I don’t know exactly when we’ll be in Oakland County.”

The old underground pipeline will not be removed to make way for the new one. It will be left in place.

“It will run parallel and adjacent to the existing line that’s in place now using the same right-of-way,” Manshum said. “When the new line is tied in and activated, the old line will be deactivated.”

Deactivation will involve purging all the oil from the old line and cleaning it thoroughly to remove any remaining crude, he explained. The old line will then be “taken apart in small segments” and capped.

“Each chunk of that pipe will have caps on it and then it’s filled with nitrogen,” Manshum said. “We will monitor the pressure inside that line as long as the line exists. The reason you fill it with the nitrogen and you monitor the pressure is to help make sure it doesn’t have any internal corrosion.”

With regard to the line’s exterior, he said Enbridge will maintain the cathodic protection that’s already on it to ensure there’s no external corrosion either.

Enbridge can’t simply walk away from the old pipeline.

“It’s a federal requirement,” Manshum said. “You have to maintain it as if you were using it.”

Manshum explained that leaving the old pipeline in place is “pretty standard in the energy transportation industry.”

“To completely take that line out of service, then replace it with a new one” is not practical for Enbridge’s customers, which are oil refineries.

“(The pipeline) would be out of service for six to 12 months – there would be no product flowing through (it),” Manshum said. “(The refineries) don’t have enough storage capacity to go that long.”

Once the new line is up and running, why can’t Enbridge come back and remove the old one? “That’s more of an inconvenience for landowners,” Manshum said. “We’re already there during one construction season, digging up their property, creating the trench.”

If Enbridge returns for another construction season, the workers will “basically redig everything that we just put back into place the year prior.”

Manshum noted it would involve the “same amount of time and process” to remove the old pipeline as it did to install the new one.

“It’s much less disruptive to landowners for us to only be in there once, instead of having to come back,” he said.

SOURCE: http://www.clarkstonnews.com/Articles-News-i-2013-03-20-250883.113121-sub-Work-on-oil-line-to-begin-later-this-year.html

Enbridge gets final OK to build massive pipeline across Michigan

The Michigan Public Service Commission has given Enbridge Energy the final OK to build the company’s massive oil pipeline across Michigan.

The commission’s order, which was issued on January 31, 2013 and is the last of three approvals the company had sought, and includes sections in Oakland, Macomb, Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Jackson, Ingham and St. Clair counties. The order allows the company to complete 110 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline and 50 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline.

“In approving the company’s application, the MPSC said the pipeline will serve a public need, is designed and routed in a reasonable manner, and meets or exceeds current safety and engineering standards. Within 60 days after completion of the construction of the project, the company will submit ‘as built’ maps to the Commission,” the commission said in a news release.

“This is the last proceeding Enbridge filed here at the commission related to line 6B,” according to Judy Palnau, a spokeswoman for the public service commission.

The company filed three applications with the MPSC for completion of different sections of the line that goes from Griffith, Ind., to Marysville, where the pipeline crosses into Ontario. The other applications were approved in 2011 and 2012.

SOURCE: http://www.freep.com/article/20130131/NEWS06/130131066/Enbridge-gets-final-OK-build-massive-pipeline-across-Michigan

Nebraska governor approves Keystone XL route

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved TransCanada Corp.’s revised route for the Keystone XL pipeline, clearing the way for a final decision from U.S. regulators on the project that would bring Canadian oil to the Texas coast.

The new route avoids Nebraska’s Sand Hills, an environmentally sensitive region overlaying the Ogallala aquifer, the state’s main source of groundwater. The pipeline will still cross the aquifer, though in a less sensitive area, according to a letter Heineman, a Republican, sent Tuesday to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informing them of his decision.

“Keystone would have minimal environmental impacts in Nebraska,” Heineman said in the letter. “The concerns of Nebraskans have had a major influence on the pipeline route, the mitigation commitments and this evaluation.”

Heineman requested that Nebraska’s environmental review and route approval be added to the study underway by the State Department, which has authority over the project because it crosses an international border. TransCanada executives have said U.S. approval for the pipeline could come by the end of March. Victoria Nuland, a spokesman for the State Department, said the review won’t be ready by then.

“Keystone XL is the most studied cross-border pipeline ever proposed, and it remains in America’s national interests to approve a pipeline that will have a minimal impact on the environment,” Russ Girling, chief executive officer for the Calgary-based pipeline company, said Tuesday in an emailed statement.

Supporters of the 1,661-mile project have said it will provide thousands of jobs and help the United States avoid dependence on energy sources from politically unstable places. Critics have turned the pipeline proposal into an environmental debate over Canada’s oil sands and the heavy crude’s contributions to air and water pollution. Blocking pipeline transport of the oil to markets in the U.S. and overseas might jeopardize development of the resource.

TransCanada’s original permit request to build the $7.6 billion pipeline, planned to stretch from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, was delayed and ultimately rejected last year by the State Department after Heineman and other Nebraska officials criticized the route.

The project should now get “the final green light,” Sen. Mike Johanns, a Nebraska Republican who opposed TransCanada’s original route, said in a statement. “I hope President Obama will swiftly approve the project so we can take a significant step forward in meeting our energy needs.”

After the initial proposal was rejected last year, TransCanada broke the project into two pieces, one running from Alberta to Steele City, Neb., and the other from Oklahoma to Texas refineries. Construction has begun on the southern portion of the pipeline, and environmental activists have been arrested in several areas of Texas after staging protests or chaining themselves to construction equipment.

SOURCE: http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/Nebraska-governor-approves-Keystone-XL-route-4215201.php#ixzz2Itv8K5O1

Pipeline Project Moving Forward…

Enbridge Energy Co.’s plan to build a new $1.9 billion pipeline across northern Indiana and Michigan is drawing considerable interest. It should draw applause as well.

The company plans to replace the existing 30-inch crude oil and liquid petroleum pipeline from Griffith to Stockbridge, Mich., with a 36-inch pipeline. The 30-inch pipeline, built in the 1960s, would be left in place, cleaned out and sealed, after the new pipeline becomes operational.

What has brought so much public attention to this project is the need to expand the easement through people’s yards and fields. “The easement is getting full,” Enbridge project director Thomas Hodge said, so Enbridge is asking property owners for an additional 25 feet. That extra room improves safety when digging up pipelines and keeps structures from being built near a pipeline that otherwise could be right on the edge of the existing easement.

Building the new pipeline will create more than 1,000 temporary and permanent jobs, a big plus in itself, but it also means improved safety. Installing a new pipeline means less maintenance, so there would be fewer disruptions to property owners.

Hodge hopes contractors will begin work in May, with ground broken in June, after the necessary permits have been obtained.

SOURCE: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/editorial-keep-pipeline-project-moving-forward/article_2495103a-a8b3-52f0-a04e-1f0c924b0bf2.html

Enbridge gets nod for Alberta pipeline

CALGARY, Alberta, Nov. 26 (UPI) — Canadian pipeline company Enbridge announced it reached an agreement with shippers for the expansion of an oil pipeline in Alberta province.

Enbridge said it agreed to terms for a $1.8 billion expansion to its pipeline system between Edmonton and Hardisty, Alberta. The expansion envisions a 2015 capacity target of 800,000 barrels per day.

The company said the new line agreements would fall within its competitive toll agreement and include a 25 cent surcharge on shipments.

“The agreement with shippers on terms for the expansion continues our collaborative relationship, ensuring that we provide the facilities and services they need to maximize the value of their crude oil,” Stephen Wuori, president of liquid pipelines for Enbridge, said in a statement.

Enbridge aims to build the twin Northern Gateway pipeline from oil sands operations in Alberta to ports along Canada’s west coast. Critics of tar sands oil, the type of crude found in Alberta, say there are concerns about the environmental consequences associated with pipeline developments.

Enbridge said the Edmonton to Hardisty line should begin construction by 2014 once it gets full support from the government.

SOURCE: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2012/11/26/Enbridge-gets-nod-for-Alberta-pipeline/UPI-47511353934923/#ixzz2DLctvybr

Gateway pipeline hearings resume: First Nations get chance to question Enbridge

EDMONTON – Lawyers for an aboriginal group fighting the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline have raised more questions about who could end up with ownership stakes.

Hana Boye, who represents the Haisla band which claims much of the pipeline’s route as its traditional territory, queried Enbridge (TSX:ENB) officials on who put up money for 10 $10-million option agreements that could guarantee their holders space in the pipeline and a share of its ownership.

“If we don’t know who these investors are, we’re not able to determine if they’re financially viable, if they’re market-force driven or if it’s in the interest of Canadians,” she said.

Lawyers for environmental groups had already raised questions at hearings earlier this month about the possibility of Chinese interests buying control of the project.

On Monday, Enbridge vice-president John Fisher said most of the purchasers have been identified. Those who aren’t are covered by a confidentiality agreement, he said.

Under further questioning, Fisher conceded that the Chinese state-owned oil company Sinopec owns one of the $10-million units.

Boye then asked if the purchasers of the other units would be able to sell them and whether Enbridge would have any influence on who would be able to buy them.

“It would be a private transaction between those two parties,” Fisher said. “It could happen.”

Boye pointed out that Chinese energy firms are buying Canadian companies who have purchased option units. The China National Offshore Oil Corp. has purchased a share of MEG Energy, which is an option owner. As well, Chinese interests are also trying to buy Nexen (TSX:NXY), which owns another one of the 10 options.

The testimony came as hearings on Enbridge’s controversial pipeline resumed in Edmonton. It was the first chance for First Nations representatives to cross-examine company officials about the proposed $6-billion line.

Haida and Haisla officials have made statements voicing concerns about the project at earlier hearing sessions.

The pipeline would carry bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to the B.C. coast where it would be loaded onto tankers headed for Asia.

People living along the route and on the B.C. coast fear the impact of possible spills, but supporters of the pipeline argue it’s needed to expand Canada’s export options.

The latest round of hearings in Edmonton are to last all week.

SOURCE: http://www.firstperspective.ca/news/1859-gateway-pipeline-hearings-resume-first-nations-get-chance-to-question-enbridge

NTSB blame multiple corrosion cracks & ‘weak’ regulations – Kalamazoo Oil Spill

The National Transportation Safety Board blamed multiple corrosion cracks and “pervasive organizational failures” at the Calgary-based Enbridge pipeline company for a more-than-20,000-barrel oil spill two years ago near Michigan’s Kalamazoo River.

The cost of the spill has reached $800 million and is rising, the NTSB said, making the pipeline rupture the most expensive on-shore oil spill in U.S. history. The pipeline’s contents — heavy crude oil from Canada’s oil sands — have made the spill a closely watched case with implications for other pipelines carrying such crude.

The NTSB also blamed “weak federal regulations” by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration for the accident, which spilled at least 843,444 gallons of oil into a tributary of the Kalamazoo in Marshall, Mich. The oil spread into a 40-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo and a nearby wetlands area.

“This accident is a wake-up call to the industry, the regulator, and the public,” NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said in a statement.  She added that “for the regulator to delegate too much authority to the regulated to assess their own system risks and correct them is tantamount to the fox guarding the hen house.”

The spill began about 5:58 p.m. on July 25, 2010, when a 30-inch diameter pipeline ruptured. Twice, Enbridge workers tried to restart the pipeline after alarms about abnormal pressure in the line and 81 percent of the oil spilled over 17 hours after those alarms, the NTSB said.

“We believe that the experienced personnel involved in the decisions made at the time of the release were trying to do the right thing,” Enbridge’s chief executive, Patrick D. Daniel, said.“As with most such incidents, a series of unfortunate events and circumstances resulted in an outcome no one wanted.”

The case is being scrutinized by industry and environmental groups because it could threaten plans to build new pipelines to carry crude from Canada’s oil sands, or tar sands, into the United States. TransCanada’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline is one of the plans awaiting approval.

The NTSB, part of the Transportation Department, said the Enbridge pipeline break “was the result of multiple small corrosion-fatigue cracks that over time grew in size and linked together, creating a gaping breach in the pipe measuring over 80 inches long.”

SOURCE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/ntsb-blames-enbridge-weak-regulations-in-kalamazoo-oil-spill/2012/07/10/gJQAWzqgbW_story.html

Northern Gateway regulatory decision expected months later than Enbridge target

CALGARY – The regulatory panel weighing the controversial Northern Gateway oil pipeline said Tuesday it will likely make its decision in about two years, several months later than estimated by the builder, Calgary-based Enbridge Inc.

The proposed 1,200-kilometre pipeline would ship oilsands crude from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C., where it would be loaded onto tankers that could transport it to Asia — providing exporters with alternatives to the United States, the biggest importer of Canadian crude.

However, as with the Keystone XL pipeline that TransCanada Ltd. (TSX:TRP) hopes to build from Alberta to refineries along the Gulf Coast in the southern United States, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway proposal faces opposition on environmental and other grounds.

Thousands of people are set to speak at hearings across northern British Columbia and Alberta between January of next year and April 2013.

The joint review panel said Tuesday, in announcing several dates for the hearings, that it expects to release an environmental assessment report in the fall of 2013, and announce its final decision around the end of that year.

Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel said in May he was anticipating an early 2013 decision, but it’s clear from the hearing schedule that won’t be the case.

The company issued a statement late Tuesday saying it “welcomes clarity around the hearing process.”

“We understand that there is significant public interest in the Northern Gateway project. The JRP seems to be ensuring that there is a thorough inclusive process, and we are supportive of that. We see value in a well-defined process and remain committed to the regulatory review,” Enbridge spokesman Paul Stanway said in an emailed statement.

Enbridge also faces a longer review process than it expected for a proposal to reverse part of an oil pipeline in Ontario.

The National Energy Board said Monday it will begin oral hearings this fall into Enbridge’s Line 9 proposal.

Enbridge originally aimed to begin work on the $20-million Line 9 reversal project in early 2012, with start-up anticipated in the fall of next year.

“While the schedule extends further into 2012 than we had anticipated, we respect the board’s desire to enable stakeholders and communities affected by the project to have the opportunity to participate in the regulatory review process,” Enbridge spokeswoman Jennifer Varey said in an earlier email Tuesday.

Opposition to major pipeline projects has grown since the disastrous offshore spill in the Gulf of Mexico after BP’s leased Deepwater Horizon rig experienced a fatal explosion in April 2010.

The pipeline industry’s reputation as a relatively reliable and environmentally safe way to transport oil was tarnished by a much smaller spill in July 2010, involving an Enbridge pipeline in southern Michigan.

There have also been periodic small-scale leaks at the original Keystone pipeline and a major spill at the Rainbow pipeline in northern Alberta operated by Plains Midstream Canada.

SOURCE: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/breakingnews/neb-to-hold-hearings-into-enbridge-line-9-oil-pipeline-reversal-in-ontario-135101398.html

Michigan lawmakers want tougher pipeline rules

Two Michigan lawmakers said they’ve introduced proposals for new measures concerning the integrity of oil and gas pipeline infrastructure.

U.S. Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the energy and commerce committee, and John Dingell, D-Mich., a former chairman, in an article in the Kalamazoo Gazette said they’ve introduced plans to “make vital, long overdue improvements” to the 2.5 million-mile U.S. pipeline network.

The measure would tighten existing safety measures and increase penalties on pipeline operators in the event of a spill.

“Energy demand continues to increase and as we seek to responsibly meet that growing demand with our increased production, the importance of ensuring the safe transportation of those vital resources becomes even greater,” they wrote.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week called on a Canadian pipeline company to take further steps to clean the Kalamazoo River system polluted by a July 2010 oil spill.
SOURCE: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2011/10/12/Mich-leaders-want-tougher-pipeline-rules/UPI-80521318418360/#ixzz1af7LGzW2