Keystone XL Pipeline Leak: More Than 200,000 Gallons of Oil Spilled

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The White River weaves through the landscape near where the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would pass on October 13, 2014 south of Presho, South Dakota.

Officials in South Dakota are responding to a large leak in the Keystone XL Pipeline. In a press release issued Thursday, TransCanada said that the oil spill was discovered at around 7 a.m. Eastern and was immediately shut down within 15 minutes.

The leak was discovered following a drop in pressure was detected in an operating system. The company said that the source of the leak is under investigation, but the current estimated volume is about 5,000 barrels of oil, or more than 200,000 gallons. The leak was discovered about 35 miles south of the Ludden pump station in Marshall County, South Dakota.

Officials said that emergency response procedures have been activated and crews are assessing the situation. Read the full statement from TransCanada below:

TransCanada (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) crews safely shut down its Keystone pipeline at approximately 6 a.m. CST (5 a.m. MST) after a drop in pressure was detected in its operating system resulting from an oil leak that is under investigation. The estimated volume of the leak is approximately 5,000 barrels. The section of pipe along a right-of-way approximately 35 miles (56 kilometres) south of the Ludden pump station in Marshall County, South Dakota was completely isolated within 15 minutes and emergency response procedures were activated.

Crews, including TransCanada specialists from emergency management, engineering, environmental management and safety as well as contracted, nationally recognized experts are assessing the situation. TransCanada is providing State and Federal regulators, including the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the National Response Center (NRC), with accurate and confirmed information on an ongoing basis.

TransCanada appreciates the collaborative support of local officials, emergency response personnel and commissioners in Marshall County, as well as the landowner who has given permission to access land for assessment, identification and clean-up activities.

We have been keeping our shippers and customers up to date and have communicated that the pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma and to Wood River/Patoka, Illinois is expected to remain shut down as we respond to this incident. This does not affect the Marketlink pipeline system, which uses the facilities of the southern leg of the Keystone system from Cushing to the Gulf Coast.

The safety of the public and environment are our top priorities and we will continue to provide updates as they become available.

TransCanada operates on nearly 57,000 miles of gas pipelines in North America.

The Keystone XL Pipeline, along with the Dakota Access oil pipeline, have been the subject of many protests for its construction and the possibility of damaging the Native American reservations which surround it.

One of President Donald Trump‘s first acts following his inauguration was signing an executive order which advanced the construction of both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

The order signed by Trump made it easier for TransCanada to construct the Keystone pipeline and for Energy Transfer Partners to “build the final uncompleted portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline,” NBC News reported.


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