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Pipeline leak near Clearbrook closes two pipelines Tuesday

An attentive employee driving along Clearwater County Road 3 near Clearbrook detected an oil leak in a pipeline system Tuesday morning.

Two lines of the pipeline, owned by Enbridge Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, were closed on Tuesday due to the small leak, said company spokesperson Larry Springer.

The "pinhole leak" was detected about 6 a.m. by an employee who could smell oil in the area, Springer said.

Two lines were quickly shut down while the company investigated which line was leaking oil, Springer said. Once the leak was located, the second line was reopened Tuesday afternoon.

Repairs were made to the leaking line, and it was reopened around midnight, he said.

Less than two barrels of oil leaked, Springer said. Contaminated soil and oil were removed and taken to a dedicated disposal site.

"There should be no residual effects," he said.

The lines are part of the longest crude oil pipeline system in the world, he said. It transports oil to refineries along its route from Alberta, Canada, to Chicago, Detroit, and then eventually back to Canada, he explained. This pipe that leaked ends in Superior, Wis.

The company is investigating the cause of the leak, Springer said.