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Enbridge to resume pipeline in May following line 6B replacement

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World Pipelines,

Enbridge Inc. has said that it expects to start using its expanded Line 6B pipeline on 1 May 2014.

The new line will carry as much as 500 000 bpd, more than double the capacity of the old Line 6B.

The Canadian company replaced 285 miles of a pipeline that burst underground nearly four years ago and caused a spill of 1 million gallons of oilsands oil into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River.

Reuters reports that the company had an initial 1 April 2014 state-up date but Enbridge “dealt with technical issues with the existing pipe while filling the new line with oil.”

Replacement pipeline project following 2010 accident

Enbridge has been served additional dredging orders by the US Environmental Protection Agency; the company has said it has spent more than US$ 1 billion on the cleanup already.

Enbridge says the current pipeline will be deactivated and the new line will meet growing consumer demand for petroleum and to help alleviate future maintenance.

Pipeline oil spills

Between 2010 and 2013, pipelines cost operators more than US$ 700 million in environmental remediation, and more than US$ 1.5 billion in total property damage, according to the PHMSA data.

The July 2010 Enbridge pipeline rupture that spilled into Michigan's Kalamazoo River was the worst inland spill in US history.

However, most of the crude oil spills over the past few years were contained on the operator's property, PHMSA data shows. And many crude oil pipeline spills are relatively small. About a third of the nearly 1900 spills reported between 2003 and 2013 were a barrel (42 gallons) or less.

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

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