Canada-held energy company Enbridge Energy Partners has received approval from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration for a gradual restart of Line 6B, shut down following a leak.
There is no timeline yet for a scheduled restart. The pipeline, which has a capacity of 290,000 barrels a day without storage constraints, was shut on 26 July after it ruptured near Marshall, Michigan, spilling about 19,500 barrels of oil. The shutdown reduced heavy crude supplies for refineries in Ohio, Ontario and Pennsylvania. BP and United Refining were forced to cut back production while the line was down.
The gradual restart will be tightly controlled and closely monitored by PHMSA investigators, as well as by an independent third party expert that reports directly to the pipeline safety agency.
A third party will observe control room operations in Edmonton and monitor the most critical pump station locations.