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Enbridge Recovers About Two-Thirds of Oil Spilled From Michigan Pipeline

Enbridge Inc., which carries most of the oil imported to the U.S. from Canada, said about two-thirds of the crude spilled from a ruptured pipeline in Michigan has been recovered.

Enbridge estimates 13,000 barrels of oil from the 19,500 barrels that leaked has been recovered, Steve Wuori, executive vice president of Enbridge Liquids Pipelines, said today on a conference call.

The oil leaked July 26 from a breach in Line 6B, a 30-inch pipeline run by Enbridge Energy Partners LP. The oil poured into the Tallmadge Creek before flowing into the Kalamazoo River, coating birds, muskrats and turtles in an oily residue.

Clean-up efforts have gathered 46,000 barrels of water and oil, of which 16,000 has been shipped to an Enbridge-run plant in Indiana where the oil is being separated, Mark Durno, the on- scene coordinator from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said on a separate call.

The company hasn’t yet removed the section of pipeline that ruptured because the marshy area in which the line is located is flooded, Durno said.

“Water issues” are delaying the line extraction, he said. The company expects to use more sheet piling around the rupture area in a bid to keep water out as workers dig to remove the affected pipeline, Wuori said.

Enbridge and EPA workers have deployed 91,000 feet of containment booms as of today as part of the efforts to clean the spilled oil, up from 78,000 feet yesterday, Durno said.

Refineries Affected

Enbridge isn’t able to restart its 293-mile pipeline until it meets requirements that form part of a “corrective action” order from the Department of Transportation.

The company must propose procedures for repairing the failed section of line and a plan for monitoring the line once service is resumed.

Line 6B can transport 190,000 barrels a day of light synthetic and heavy and medium crude oil from Griffith, Indiana, to Sarnia, Ontario.

The line serves refineries in areas such as Toledo, Ohio, Detroit and Sarnia. These include plants in Toledo run by BP Plc and Sunoco Inc., refineries in the Detroit area including Marathon Oil Corp.’s plant and Sarnia facilities run by Imperial Oil Ltd., Suncor Energy Inc., and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Marathon’s Detroit refinery is using alternative crude supply sources after the line shut down, and plant operations aren’t affected, Shane Pochard, a company spokesman, said in a telephone interview.

The line closure down has had a “minimal impact” on Imperial’s Sarnia and Nanticoke refineries in Ontario, Jon Harding, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. Imperial is working to secure alternate supplies of crude, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Samantha Zee in San Francisco at szee@bloomberg.net

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