pipeline Accident Report

Rupture of Enbridge Pipeline and Release of Crude Oil

Cohasset, Minnesota
July 4, 2002

NTSB Number PAR-04-01
NTIS Number PB2004-916501

Executive Summary

About 2:12 a.m., central daylight time, on July 4, 2002, a 34-inch-diameter steel pipeline owned and operated by Enbridge Pipelines, LLC ruptured in a marsh west of Cohasset, Minnesota. Approximately 6,000 barrels (252,000 gallons) of crude oil were released from the pipeline as a result of the rupture. The cost of the accident was reported to the Research and Special Programs Administration Office of Pipeline Safety to be approximately $5.6 million. No deaths or injuries resulted from the release.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the July 4, 2002, pipeline rupture near Cohasset, Minnesota, was inadequate loading of the pipe for transportation that allowed a fatigue crack to initiate along the seam of the longitudinal weld during transit. After the pipe was installed, the fatigue crack grew with pressure cycle stresses until the crack reached a critical size and the pipe ruptured.

The following safety issues were identified during this investigation:


As a result of its investigation of this accident, the Safety Board issues safety recommendations to the Research and Special Programs Administration, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the American Petroleum Institute.