PIPELINE EXPLOSION: Cause could take a couple of weeks to determine
The cause of the fatal Enbridge pipeline explosion Wednesday near Clearbrook, Minn., could take weeks to determine, officials said Friday. "We are beginning to clean up the site and are now moving equipment to safely access it," said Denise Hamsh...
The cause of the fatal Enbridge pipeline explosion Wednesday near Clearbrook, Minn., could take weeks to determine, officials said Friday.
"We are beginning to clean up the site and are now moving equipment to safely access it," said Denise Hamsher, Enbridge spokeswoman. "We have developed a repair plan, and the repairs will take the entire weekend."
One part of the line not shut down by the incident is expected to be repaired and in working condition in the next three days.
Oil that was spilled into the trench and was not burned will be put back into the pipeline, she said. About 325 barrels of the leaked oil were either unusable or burned up in the explosion.
Four pipelines were affected by the blast that killed two workers from Wisconsin. Three of those four lines were up and running Thursday. The pipeline that was damaged was Line 3, which ships 420,000 barrels of heavy crude oil per day to oil refineries such as ExxonMobil, British Petroleum and Citgo in Chicago, as well as to a facility in Superior, Wis.
"There was an unexpected leak in a segment that was just fixed," Hamsher said of Line 3. "When the crude oil was released, it ignited because it found an ignition source."
The cause of the leak is unknown, and is under investigation. All the pipelines up to Clearbrook are in working order, Hamsher said.
"It is shut down downstream of Clearbrook," she added.
The cause of the explosion will not be determined for a couple of weeks, Hamsher predicted. When the failed line is cut out, each section of the pipe will have to be examined, which will take some time.
Enbridge has been working with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the environmental impact of the spill is expected to be minimal, Hamsher said.