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Enbridge Reports Oil Release At Pump Station Facility


June 28, 2012
After receiving approval from the ERCB, Enbridge operators safely restarted the Elk Point pumping station at approximately 1 p.m. MST, Sunday, June 24, and normal operations have resumed. The ERCB and Enbridge are continuing their investigations as to the cause of the incident which appears to be the failure of a flange gasket. The flange gasket has been replaced, all other gaskets were tested and station piping was fully inspected.  Contaminated soil and free product is being removed from the site for processing and disposal. Further environmental testing and monitoring of the site is being conducted as required.

June 22, 2012
Enbridge crews and equipment are in place and work continues at the spill site. Collection of the contaminated soil adjacent to the station is 100% complete and is approved for removal from the site. Contaminated soil within the station is stored in containers for removal.

June 20, 2012
With the approval of the ERCB, Line 19 was safely restarted at approximately 23:30 MST June 19th. The Elk Point oil pumping station remains isolated and shut down pending investigation and completion of clean up and repairs.


CALGARY, ALBERTA -- June 19, 2012 - Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) (NYSE:ENB) has confirmed an oil release at its Elk Point oil pumping station on Line 19 (Athabasca Pipeline), approximately 70 kilometres (43.5 miles) south of Bonnyville, Alberta and approximately 24 kilometres (15 miles) from the town of Elk Point.

The release, which occurred June 18, 2012, is largely contained within the pumping station site. The area was secured and clean-up operations began immediately. There is no risk to public health or safety. Preliminary volume estimates of the release are approximately 230 m3 (1,400 barrels). The cause of the release appears to be a failure of a flange gasket in the pumping station.

Immediately upon Enbridge’s detection of the pumping station leak, the pipeline was shut down. Enbridge contacted local emergency response organizations and has notified civic authorities and regulatory agencies.  

With the Elk Point pump station isolated and shut down, the line was safely restarted on the afternoon on June 18 and has run normally since that time.  However, the line was again shut down the afternoon of June 19 on the order of the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) as the ERCB and Enbridge continue their investigation. Enbridge is in discussion with the ERCB to determine the appropriate time for a restart of the line.

Line 19 (Athabasca) background:

  • 345,000 bpd (expanding to 570,000 bpd)
  • 30 inch diameter
  • 541 kilometres (336 miles)
  • Originates at Athabasca terminal; terminates at Hardisty terminal
  • Constructed 1998-99

Questions and Answers

The Q&A will be updated as new information is available

What happened?

At approximately 5:41 a.m. MST on June 18, 2012 Enbridge’s monitoring system detected a drop in pressure indicating a possible oil release on Line 19 (Athabasca Pipeline).  The Enbridge pipeline control centre shut down the line at 5:51 a.m. MST.  Shortly after, at 6:00 a.m. MST, a third party called to notify Enbridge of a possible oil release within the Elk Point Station, located approximately 70 kms (43.5 mi) south of Bonnyville, Alberta.

How did this happen?

The cause of the release appears to be a failure of a flange gasket in the pumping station. Flange gaskets are a necessary and common component in all pipeline systems, as they provide a seal when two pipe components are joined together.  An investigation of the incident will be conducted in conjunction with all regulators and stakeholders.

How much oil was released?

Preliminary volume estimates of the release are approximately 230 m3 (approximately 1,400 barrels); approximately 200 m3 on Enbridge site and approximately 30 m3 on a landowner’s field.

What land is impacted by this release?

The impacted area is contained within our right-of-way with most of the product on our site and some in a landowner’s field.

Was water or wildlife impacted by this incident?

No water or wildlife was impacted. There is no water in the vicinity of the site. Fencing was placed around the site immediately to protect wildlife in the area. Deterrents (scare cannons) have been set up to prevent birds from accessing the site.

How is Enbridge responding?

Enbridge is treating this situation as a top priority. Cleanup is underway as per the Enbridge Environmental policies and regulations.

First responders from Lac La Biche and Hardisty were immediately contacted and assisted with the response. The landowner, local First Nations, ERCB and Alberta Environment were also notified of the incident.

The release was immediately stopped. No one was injured and no wildlife was impacted.

We’re committed to thoroughly cleaning up the site as quickly as possible and ensuring the safety of the residents, environment, wildlife, contractors, and employees.

Work will continue until the impacted area is returned to a condition that meets the expectations of landowners and the community, regulators and our own stringent guidelines.

The cleanup is being conducted in compliance with all government regulations and Enbridge’s own stringent standards for safety and the environment.

Is the line operating?

Update June 20: With the approval of the ERCB, Line 19 was safely restarted at approximately 23:30 MST June 19th. The Elk Point oil pumping station remains isolated and shut down pending investigation and completion of clean up and repairs.


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