75-Year-Old New England Pipeline Shuts Down

A northeastern oil pipeline dating to World War II has effectively been shut down after 75 years.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

A northeastern oil pipeline dating to World War II has effectively been shut down after 75 years.

The Associated Press reports that the oil flow through the pipeline dropped to nothing earlier this year and that no tanker ships recorded deliveries at its Maine terminus in February.

The pipeline runs for 236 miles beneath three states and for decades routed oil from the Port of Portland to refineries in Montreal. It was originally constructed due to the danger posed to oil tankers by German submarines.

(AP Photo)(AP Photo)

Recent pipeline projects in Canada, however, mean that Quebec now gets its oil from massive drilling operations in Alberta's tar sands thousands of miles farther away. 

Analysts said that the line isn't necessarily shut down permanently. Eventually, it could reverse its flow and bring tar sands oil from Montreal to New England.

In order for that to occur, a pipeline company and the city of South Portland will need to resolve an ongoing court dispute. The city banned oil exports over environmental concerns about tar sands oil, which drew a lawsuit from Portland Pipeline Corp.

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