ARCHIVED - Letter and Order SO-E102-002-2011 to Enbridge Pipelines (NW) Inc.
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File OF-Surv-Inc-2011 7401
10 June 2011
Mr. Fain Cowie
Senior Compliance Coordinator
Enbridge Pipelines Inc.
10201 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5J 2J9
Facsimile 780 420-8552
Dear Mr. Cowie:
Enbridge Pipeline (NW) Inc. (Enbridge)
Norman Wells to Zama Pipeline KP 380.46
Willow Lake River Incident
On 9 May 2011 Enbridge reported the release of approximately 0.4 m³ (4 bbls) of crude oil onto the right-of-way of the Norman Wells to Zama pipeline (Line 21). On 7 June 2011 Enbridge advised the Board that the estimated volume of oil released could be between 111 and 238 m³ (700 and 1500 bbls). Enbridge has reported that the release was due to a small crack transverse to a girth weld on the pipeline. The Board recognizes Enbridge's efforts in responding to the release and its actions taken to address the needs of the residents of Norman Wells. However, the Board is concerned about the latest estimate provided by Enbridge on the amount of product released from the pipeline.
The Board notes that Enbridge has repaired the leak with a pressure containing sleeve and has committed to undertake an investigation into the cause of the defect. The Board further recognizes the voluntary mitigative measures Enbridge has taken including a pressure restriction for Line 21, weekly aerial patrols for a period of four weeks following restart and axial crack in-line inspection of Line 21 commencing in 2011. The Board is of the view that the pressure restriction should remain in place until such time as the cause of the defect is determined and suitably mitigated. The Board, therefore, has issued Order SO-E102-002-2011 which requires Enbridge to seek leave of the Board prior to lifting the pressure restriction on Line 21.
To ensure the protection of the environment and the public from any adverse effects as a result of this release, the Board directs that Enbridge continues to follow the NEB Remediation Process Guide.
The Board expects Enbridge to continue with its consultations with affected people, including Aboriginal groups, and to report to the Board about the outcomes of those consultations.
In further response to this release, the NEB is conducting an investigation pursuant to section 12 of the National Energy Board Act. In this investigation, the Board will consider the cause of the release and factors contributing to it. The safe and secure of operation of pipeline infrastructure is of paramount importance to the NEB.
If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Patrick Smyth, Business Leader, Operations at 403-221-3014.
Secretary of the Board
IN THE MATTER OF the National Energy Board Act (the Act) and the regulations made thereunder; and
IN THE MATTER OF a 9 May 2011 release of crude oil from a transverse girth weld crack on the Norman Wells to Zama Pipeline (Line 21) under File OF-Surv-Inc-2011 7401.
BEFORE the Board on 9 June 2011.
WHEREAS the Board regulates the operation of Line 21 on which a release of crude oil from a girth weld at KP 380.46 has occurred;
AND WHEREAS Enbridge Pipelines (NW) Inc. (Enbridge) operates Line 21;
AND WHEREAS Enbridge's preliminary investigation determined the cause of the leak was a through-wall crack on a girth weld (the defect);
AND WHEREAS the Board acknowledges that Enbridge has repaired the leak with a pressure containing sleeve and submitted a restart plan on 18 May 2011 containing mitigative measures;
AND WHEREAS Line 21 was restarted on 20 May 2011;
AND WHEREAS Enbridge will conduct weekly aerial patrols of Line 21 to monitor for leaks for a period of four weeks following restart before resuming its bi-weekly patrols;
AND WHEREAS Enbridge will conduct axial crack in-line inspections of Line 21 in 2011 and conduct an investigation into the cause of the defect;
AND WHEREAS the Board is of the view that interim precautionary measures are necessary for public safety;
THEREFORE, pursuant to sections 12 and 48 of the Act, the Board hereby orders the following:
- Enbridge will maintain the following pressure restrictions on Line 21
Segment and temporary maximum operating pressure Segment Temporary Maximum
Norman Wells to Wrigley
Wrigley to Mackenzie Highway
Mackenzie Highway to Zama
- Enbridge shall, at least 30 days prior to increasing the operating pressure of any portion of Line 21 above the pressure restrictions set out in Paragraph 1 of this order, submit a written request to the Board seeking approval to lift the pressure restriction. The application shall include: an engineering assessment that indicates that the pipeline is fit for its intended service at the higher pressure. The engineering assessment shall include supporting rationale and documentation such as the results of any crack in-line inspection; the conclusions of Enbridge's investigation into the cause of the defect at KP 380.46; and a plan to mitigate any other similar defects or anomalies on Line 21.
- In the event that Enbridge does not apply for leave to remove the pressure restriction on Line 21, Enbridge shall, by 31 December 2012 provide an engineering assessment that indicates that the pipeline remains fit for its intended service at the reduced pressure taking into account factors such as the results of all crack in-line inspections performed on Line 21 to date, the conclusions of Enbridge's investigation into the cause of the defect at KP 380.46 and a plan to mitigate any similar defects or anomalies on Line 21.
- Enbridge shall file with the Board on a quarterly basis for one year, summaries of the results of consultation with potentially affected people, including Aboriginal groups, which should include, but not be limited to:
- the persons or Aboriginal groups consulted;
- the methods, dates and locations of consultation activities;
- the information provided and the means of distributing this information to persons or Aboriginal groups;
- a summary of the input provided by potentially affected persons or Aboriginal groups;
- a summary of the responses made regarding the input from potentially affected persons or Aboriginal groups; and,
- a description of how outstanding concerns will be addressed.
The first consultation summary should be filed with the Board by 24 June 2011.
NATIONAL ENERGY BOARD
Secretary of the Board
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