Enbridge Outlines $1.4 Billion Worst-Case Scenario Spill on Proposed Pipeline

Enbridge Outlines $1.4 Billion Worst-Case Scenario Spill on Proposed Pipeline

Mike Hughlett | Star Tribune

A worst-case oil spill on Enbridge’s planned new oil pipeline across northern Minnesota would cost an estimated $1.4 billion, a little more than the price of the company’s mammoth spill in Michigan eight years ago.

Enbridge was required to come up with the worst-case scenario by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which conditionally approved the company’s new Line 3 pipeline in June.

Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge filed the cost estimate Tuesday with the PUC, noting that the worst-case spill would involve pipeline ruptures near the Red, Mississippi or Red Lake rivers. The PUC will use the information in determining Enbridge’s financial liabilities for a major spill.

Before the PUC signs off completely on the controversial $2.6 billion Line 3 project, Enbridge has to meet several conditions, and the most critical involves its corporate guarantee and insurance coverage for spills.

To calculate the worst case, Enbridge assumed a “full-bore rupture scenario where the pipeline is shut down and isolated after 13 minutes from the release occurring,” the company said in a PUC filing. In that 13 minutes, “a conservative response time,” the break would be detected, pumps would be shut down and valves closed, the filing said…(Read the full story)

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