Enbridge’s oil lines in Alberta still shut after weekend spill

Personnel from Enbridge Inc. (TSX, NYSE:ENB), the largest transporter of Canadian oil to the US, were still working Monday to contain and clean up a weekend spill of synthetic crude into a wetland area and small lake in northern Alberta.

In its initial assessments, Enbridge said it also shut other two pipelines in the area, the Athabasca and Waupisoo, as major flooding continue to plague the region since last week.

The Calgary-based company preliminary estimates placed the volume of the spill at approximately 750 barrels, adding there have been no reports of harm to wildlife and that it's working with Alberta Environment officials and local aboriginal communities to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

Later Monday, Suncor Energy (TSX, NYSE: SU) reported it had temporarily reduced production from its Fort McMurray operations as a result of the precautionary shutdown of the Enbridge pipeline system.

"We're using our existing storage capacity, as well as moving volume on our Oil Sands pipeline, to mitigate the impact while we work with Enbridge to facilitate safely bringing the pipelines back into operation," Steve Williams, Suncor president and chief executive officer said in the statement.

Crude output from Alberta’s oil sands fields is expected to more than double to 3.8 million barrels a day by 2022, according to the province’s Energy Resources Conservation Board.

Companies including Enbridge, Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE:KMI) and TransCanada Corp. (TSX: TRP) are planning pipeline expansions to move the increasing volumes to new markets in Canada and the US.

Image from Wikimedia Commons