Enbridge Spills

Morgan Kinder

Morgan KinderA Decade of Enbridge Oil Pipeline Spills

by Joyce Nelson, part of a feature Pipeline Safety, Dilbit, Captive Regulators and Smart Pigs coming in the March-April Watershed Sentinel

2000: 7,513 barrels. Enbridge reported 48 pipeline spills and leaks, including a spill of 1,500 barrels at Innes, Sask.

2001: 25,980 barrels. Enbridge pipelines reported 34 spills and leaks, totalling 25,980 barrels of oil, including a January spill from Enbridge’s Energy Transportation North Pipeline that leaked 23,900 barrels of crude oil into a slough near Hardisty, Alberta, and a September spill of 598 barrels in Binbrook, Ont.

2002: 14,683 barrels. Enbridge reported 48 oil spills and leaks, totalling 14,683 barrels, including a leak of 6,133 barrels in Kerrobert, Sask. in January; a seam failure in May that spilled 598 barrels in Glenboro, Man.; and a pipeline rupture into a marsh west of Cohasset, Minn. To prevent 6,000 barrels of crude oil from reaching the Mississippi River, Enbridge set the oil on fire.

2003: 6,410 barrels. Enbridge pipelines had 62 spills and leaks, totalling 6,410 barrels, including a January spill of 4,500 barrels of oil at the company’s oil terminal near Superior, Wisc., and a June spill of 452 barrels of oil into Wisconsin’s Nemadji River. In April, an Enbridge gas pipeline exploded, levelling a strip mall in Etobicoke, Ont. and killing seven people.

2004: 3,252 barrels. Enbridge pipelines had 69 reported spills, totalling 3,252 barrels of oil, including a February valve failure in Fort McMurray, Alta. that leaked 735 barrels of oil.

2005: 9,825 barrels. Enbridge had 70 reported spills, totalling 9,825 barrels of oil.

2006: 5,363 barrels. Enbridge had 61 reported spills, totalling 5,363 barrels of oil, including a March 613 barrel spill at its Willmar terminal in Saskatchewan and a December spill of 2,000 barrels at a pumping station in Montana.

2007: 13,777 barrels. Enbridge had 65 spills and leaks, totalling 13,777 barrels of oil, including a January pipeline break near Stanley, North Dakota, which spilled 215 barrels of oil; two pipeline incidents in January/February in Clark and Rusk Counties in Wisconsin which spilled 4,200 barrels of oil; and an April spill of approximately 6,227 barrels of oil into a field down-stream of an Enbridge pumping station at Glenavon, Sask. In November, an Enbridge pipeline carrying bitumen to U.S. Midwest markets exploded near Clearbrook, Minn., killing two workers.

2008: 2,682 barrels. Enbridge had 80 reported spills and leaks, totalling 2,682 barrels of oil, including a January incident at an Enbridge pumping station at the Cromer Terminal in Manitoba that leaked 629 barrels of crude; a February incident in Weyburn, Sask., which leaked 157 barrels; and a March spill of 252 barrels of oil in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

2009: 8,441 barrels. Enbridge had 103 reported oil spills and leaks, totalling 8,441 barrels, including a pipeline incident at the Enbridge Cheecham Terminal tank farm that spilled 5,749 barrels of oil near Anzac, Alberta; a spill of 704 barrels in Kisbey, Sask.; and a spill of 1,100 barrels at Odessa, Sask.

2010: 34,122 barrels. Enbridge had 80 reported pipeline spills, totalling 34,122 barrels, including a January Enbridge pipeline leak near Neche, North Dakota of 3,000 barrels of oil; an April incident near Virden, Man. that leaked 12 barrels of oil into Bosshill Creek; a July pipeline spill in Marshall, Michigan that dumped 20,000 barrels of tar sands crude into the Kalamazoo River, causing the biggest oil spill in U.S. Midwest history; and a September pipeline spill of 6,100 barrels in Romeoville, Ill.

Total: 132,715 barrels of oil, more than half the Exxon Valdez spill of 257,000 barrels

Sources: Prince George Citizen (March 12, 2010); The Polaris Institute (May 2010); The Tyee (31 July 2010); Reuters (Sept. 10, 2010); Enbridge.com 2010; Vancouver Sun (May 10, 2011); The Globe & Mail (June 17, 2011); Dogwood Initiative


[From WS March/April 2012]

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