Officials Shut Down Keystone Pipeline After Oil Leak Discovered In South Dakota

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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The Keystone Pipeline was temporarily closed Thursday morning after an oil leak was discovered in South Dakota, according to state officials.

TransCanada crew shut down the pipeline after detecting a leak 35 miles south of one of the line’s pumping station. The company estimates the Keystone leaked 5,000 barrels of oil, or about 21,000 gallons of crude oil, before workers took the project offline.

State regulators and the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) are working alongside the company to assess the situation and determine the cause of the leak. TransCanada claims the leak was contained within minutes.

“The section of pipe … was completely isolated within 15 minutes and emergency response procedures were activated,” the company said in a press statement. The incident comes as TransCanada works on getting the proper regulatory permits to expand the pipeline.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission will vote Nov. 20 on the project without tipping its hand on which direction it might take. TransCanada has yet to determine the long-term economic success of building a pipeline during an oil glut.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier this year approving building on the Keystone XL pipeline, an expansion that would transport more than 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Canada, to Nebraska, where it would then connect with other lines feeding oil to downstream refineries.

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