US bars Enbridge from Wisconsin pipeline restart


CALGARY, Alberta -- US regulators on Tuesday prohibited Enbridge from restarting an oil pipeline in Wisconsin, saying the pipeline company must perform additional tests.

Enbridge's Line 14 pipeline leaked about 1,200 bblof oil near Grand Marsh, Wis. on Friday, from the same pipeline system that suffered a catastrophic leak two years earlier in neighboring Wisconsin.

The US Department of Transportation issued a corrective order against Enbridge for the Wisconsin spill, saying the Calgary energy infrastructure company must conduct new tests on the integrity of the pipeline as well as bring in an independent expert to investigate the company's pipeline maintenance plan.

"Pipelines operate safely across the country every single day. That's why accidents, like the one in Wisconsin, are absolutely unacceptable," US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.

An Enbridge spokeswoman wasn't immediately available for comment.

"I will soon meet with Enbridge's leadership team and they will need to demonstrate why they should be allowed to continue to operate this Wisconsin pipeline without either a significant overhaul or a complete replacement," Mr. LaHood said.

Line 14 normally transports up to 318,000 bpd of oil from Superior, Wis. to Mokena, Ill.

The line is part of the larger Mainline pipeline system that transports the majority of US crude oil imports from Canada, the largest foreign oil supplier to the US.

Dow Jones Newswires

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