Enbridge Pipeline System
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)|
|Passes through||Gretna, Manitoba
|Type||crude oil, Dilbit|
|Length||2,306 km (1,433 mi)|
|From||Neche, North Dakota|
|Owner||Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P.|
|Length||3,057 km (1,900 mi)|
The Enbridge Pipeline System is an oil pipeline system which transports crude oil and dilbit from Canada to the United States. The system exceeds 5,000 kilometres (3,100 mi) in length including multiple paths. More than 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi) of the system is in the United States while the rest is in Canada and serves the Athabasca oil sands production facilities. Main parts of the system are 2,306-kilometre-long (1,433 mi) Enbridge System (Canadian Mainline) and 3,057-kilometre-long (1,900 mi) Lakehead System (U.S. Mainline). On average, it delivers 1.4 million barrels per day (220×103 m3/d) of crude oil and other products to the major oil refineries in the American Midwest and the Canadian province of Ontario. The Canadian portion is owned by Enbridge, while the U.S. portion is partly owned by that company through Enbridge Energy Partners, LP, formerly known as Lakehead Pipe Line Partners and Lakehead Pipe Line Company.
The first portion of the pipeline was built over the course of 150 days in 1950 by a 1,500-man labor force. It crossed approximately 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) from Redwater, Alberta, through Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North Dakota, and Minnesota, to the Great Lakes seaport of Superior, Wisconsin. At the same time, four oil tankers were constructed to carry the crude from Superior to oil refineries in Sarnia, Ontario. Oil first entered the pipe on August 25, 1950, and the first tanker, Imperial LeDuc, was launched on November 4. Other tankers that followed were, Imperial Redwater, Imperial Woodbend, and B.A. Peerless.
Because the lakes froze in the winter, preventing tanker traffic, the decision was soon made to expand the pipeline all the way to Sarnia. In May 1953, contracts were awarded and construction began. At 2,840 kilometres (1,760 mi), it became the world's longest pipeline. A major upgrade was undertaken in the 1990s to replace old pipe and expand the system.
Today, there are two routes that oil can take between Superior and Sarnia. A northern route passes through the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan before crossing into Ontario, while the southern route circles south of Lake Michigan through Illinois and Indiana before reaching Michigan. There are 59 pumping stations in the pipeline system, and the actual pipes range in diameter from 12 to 48 inches (300 to 1,200 mm).
One major junction point is in Clearbrook, Minnesota where the pipeline connects to the Minnesota Pipeline, which carries crude to the Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota. The North Dakota System of pipeline also has a connection in Clearbrook, linking the Mandan Refinery in Mandan, North Dakota. The Murphy Oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin, is directly linked to the pipeline.
Another point in Lockport, Illinois connects two pipelines to Patoka, Illinois, plus a longer link to Cushing, Oklahoma. A relatively short 56-kilometre (35 mi) link from Stockbridge, Michigan connects to two refineries in the Toledo, Ohio area.
As of 2013 there were expansion plans for the pipeline system which would, if permitted and fully built, provide the capacity to transport an amount of dilbit from the Athabasca oil sands into the United States and the Gulf Coast equal to that of the Keystone Pipeline.
Accidents and incidents
Clearbrook Junction, MN, fire
On November 28, 2007, a large fire erupted during pipeline repair work at the Clearbrook Junction. This fire, described by a spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety as a "big fire, not an explosion", killed two workers and caused a $4 per barrel spike in oil prices the following day. The 34-inch (860 mm) pipeline carries crude from Saskatchewan to the Chicago area.
Kalamazoo River oil spill
On July 26, 2010, 840,000 gallons of dilbit crude oil leaked from the pipeline in Calhoun County, Michigan, spilling into Talmadge Creek that flows into the Kalamazoo River. Despite alarms at Edmonton headquarters it took eighteen hours and a report from a Michigan utilities employee before the pipeline company acted to halt the flow finally. The cleanup expense by summer 2012 had escalated hugely to $765 million due to the difficulty of a dilbit cleanup. The company was fined $3.7 million by the United States Department of Transportation.
- Enbridge Pipelines
- Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines
- Keystone Pipeline
- List of pipeline accidents in the United States
- "Liquids Pipelines". Enbridge. Retrieved 2010-08-01.
- Patrick Lapinski (Spring 2005). The Port's Past: Not Your Classic Mix. Duluth Seaway Port Authority Magazine .
- "Map: Another Major Tar Sands Pipeline Seeking U.S. Permit: Canadian energy giant Enbridge is quietly building a 5,000-mile network of new and expanded pipelines that would achieve the same goal as the Keystone.". Inside Climate News. June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
- Bloomberg News (August 18, 2010). "Enbridge Fined in Fatal Minnesota Accident". The Chron. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- Klug, Fritz (2010-07-26). "Oil spills into Calhoun County creek that leads to Kalamazoo River". The Kalamazoo Gazette. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
- Lambert, Sarah (2010-07-26). "840,000 gallons of oil leak into creek". The Battle Creek Enquirer. Retrieved 27 July 2010.[dead link]
- "Kalamazoo River Spill Yields Record Fine", Living on Earth, July 6, 2012. Lisa Song, a reporter for Inside Climate News, was interviewed by Bruce Gellerman. Retrieved 2013-01-01.