Keystone Comes Back Online After Oil Leak

(Shutterstock/Rena Schild)

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Chris White Tech Reporter

The Keystone Pipeline will be restarted Tuesday after an oil leak forced the developer behind the line to temporarily take the project offline.

TransCanada shut down the 590,000 barrel-per-day pipeline after it leaked 5,000 barrels of crude in rural South Dakota. The company is still cleaning up the spill and investigating the cause, but in the meantime TransCanada will put Keystone back online at reduced power.

The Canada-based company did not specify what the reduced pressure would be or when the pipeline would return to full capacity. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) reviewed its repair and restart plans, TransCanada officials said Monday.

“We are communicating plans to our customers and will continue working closely with them as we begin to return to normal operating conditions,” TransCanada said in a statement. Company officials said it has so far cleaned up 1,065 barrels of oil.

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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