Monday, 11 December, 2017

TransCanada shuts down Keystone oil pipeline after another leak

Crews cleaning up Keystone Pipeline leak in Marshall County TransCanada pipeline leaks 210000 gallons of oil near SD, ND border
Heather Davidson | 17 November, 2017, 01:35

Safety crews from TransCanada are responding to a pipeline leak in Marshall County, South Dakota.

As a result, crews shut down the Keystone pipeline at approximately 6 this morning.

The leak was detected after a drop in pressure in the operating system. The substance flowing through the Keystone pipeline is known as diluted bitumen, or "dilbit", because the bitumen (the crude oil itself) is so thick and sticky it must be diluted in order to effectively flow through the system. TransCanada estimated that just under 17,000 gallons of oil spilled onto private land during that leak. The pipeline is not yet ten years old - and has leaked dozens of times, spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons along its route.

The pipeline would transport oilsands oil from Alberta through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines that feed Texas Gulf Coast refineries. This is actually Keystone's third major spill in South Dakota, with the first being a 21,000 gallon tar sands spill which occurred in its first year of operation and a 16,800 gallon spill which happened last year. State and federal regulators from TransCanada are working on the scene as well as officials from the Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the National Response Center.

Amherst is about 200 miles north of Sioux Falls, S.D., and about 25 miles from the state's border with North Dakota.

The Keystone Pipeline is part of a 2,687-mile system that also is to include the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which has faced persistent opposition from environmental groups, American Indian tribes and some landowners. Nebraska regulators plan to announce their decision next week.

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