Enbridge Energy reports oil spill in Wisconsin

Enbridge Energy says Wisconsin pipeline has leaked about 1,200 barrels of oil near Grand Marsh

Associated Press

GRAND MARSH, Wis. (AP) -- A pipeline carrying crude oil to Chicago-area refineries has leaked about 1,200 barrels of oil into a Wisconsin field, Enbridge Energy Partners LP said Saturday.

The company said the oil spill happened about 2:45 p.m. Friday. Employees detected a drop in pressure, shut down the pipeline and dispatched emergency crews to the area.

Enbridge said the spill was contained in field, most of which is in the pipeline's right of way. No one was hurt.

"Enbridge is treating this situation as a top priority," said Richard Adams, an Enbridge vice president. "We are bringing all necessary resources to bear. Our immediate focus is on keeping our workers and the public safe as we work to remove the oil and clean up the site."

The company said the cause of the spill is still under investigation, and it is working with emergency officials and regulators.

The leak happened in a 24-inch pipeline that mainly carries light crude oil to Chicago-area refineries, Enbridge said. The line installed in 1998 can carry up to 317,600 barrels per day. There are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil.

Nearly 470 miles of pipeline were shutdown, Enbridge spokesman Graham White said Saturday. The spill happened in an isolated field in rural Wisconsin and did not affect any waterways or the water table, White said. One nearby landowner was moved for his comfort and safety.

"It is completely contained. It was contained very, very quickly," White said. The line was shut down five minutes after the pressure drop was detected, he said.

Cleanup could take only days or weeks, and the line could reopen before cleanup is complete, once it's inspected and repaired, White said. Enbridge had said earlier that it couldn't say when the pipeline might restart.

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