Aug. 3 (UPI) — The source of opposition, pipeline company Enbridge said in its second quarter report that pipelines in Michigan and North Dakota were operating as expected.
Second quarter net income was $92.6 million, up 10 percent from the same period last year. For the six months ending June 30, the company reported net income of $158.1 million, down about 3.5 percent from the same period in 2016.
One of the larger pipeline operators in North America, the company attributed some of the weakness to increased operating costs, completion of tests on its Line 5 system through the Great Lakes and weakness in its natural gas business, which was sold off in June.
Enbridge is facing push back from residents in the northern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula worried about the integrity of Line 5, but the company said it felt it was in as good a condition as when it was installed. Two of the state’s Great Lakes intersect at the Mackinac Straits, creating a turbulent maritime environment
“The lines were tested to 1200 pounds per square inch, which is the same test pressure used when the pipes were installed and well above the normal operating pressure of 150 psi,” the company stated. “This test, coupled with our on-going maintenance and inspection programs, validates the system can operate safely and reliably well into the future.”
Michigan Senators have tried to steer legislation toward approval that would shut the pipeline down. If the pipeline burst, lawmakers said more than 700 miles of the shoreline of the Great Lakes could be impacted.
Enbridge is the operator of a broader regional oil pipeline system called Lakehead. A rupture in 2010 form Line 6b of the system in southern Michigan triggered one of the largest inland oil spills in the history of the U.S. oil industry.
Elsewhere, the company is a minority partner for the pipeline system in North Dakota carrying shale from the Bakken reservoir. Enbridge President Mark Maki said the situation in North Dakota was “playing out as we anticipated.”
Known as the Dakota Access pipeline, the infrastructure was the source of widespread opposition over water and land issues tied to regional tribal groups. The pipeline went into service earlier this year after U.S. President Donald Trump issued orders to facilitate the approval of U.S. oil and gas transit infrastructure.
Enbridge is working on construction of a new segment for Lakehead, Line 3, which stretches from Canada to Wisconsin. Last year, it pulled out of a similar pipeline in Minnesota, Sandpiper, which would’ve carried Bakken oil through Minnesota to Wisconsin.