Drag-racing crash in Illinois shuts down Enbridge pipelines running through SuperiorA fatal traffic crash in Illinois last weekend disrupted the flow of oil in two Enbridge pipelines that bring crude oil from the Canadian tar sands in Alberta to the Midwest through Wisconsin.
By: Mike Simonson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A fatal traffic crash in Illinois last weekend disrupted the flow of oil in two Enbridge pipelines that bring crude oil from the Canadian tar sands in Alberta to the Midwest through Wisconsin.
Police said two vehicles were drag-racing in Will County, southwest of Chicago, early Saturday when they crashed through a chain-link fence and into a pipeline pumping station, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The crash triggered an explosion and fire. Two men were killed and three injured.
Two pipelines between Superior and Griffith, Ind. — lines 6A and 14/64 — were shut down after the crash, Enbridge officials said. The pipelines are an important supplier to oil refineries in the Midwest; the 6A line has a capacity of about 670,000 barrels of crude oil a day, and the 14/64 line carries about 320,000 barrels of crude oil a day, Bloomberg News reported.
The 6A line was reopened Tuesday. Work continued on fixing the other pipeline.
“All I can say is we’re working hard to assess the damage,” Enbridge spokeswoman Lorraine Little said. “We do believe that we can get line 14 repaired and back up and running by Wednesday night and then 64 would be back up and running sometime during the day on Thursday. There may be some slowdown of some of our lines coming into Superior in order to hand those volumes but we do expect that to be minimal for Superior.”
Dave Podratz, manager of Wisconsin’s lone refinery, Calumet in Superior, said there would not be any impact on his operation because the pipeline shutoff was downstream. He also said he doubts the interruptions will have an immediate effect on gas prices.
Little said she could not speculate on what, if any, effect the shutdown will have on gas production at other refineries. She said confidentiality agreements don’t allow her to talk about that.
Wisconsin Public Radio can be heard locally on 91.3 KUWS-FM and online at www.wpr.org.
News Tribune Multimedia Editor Andrew Krueger contributed to this report.