TransCanada Corp. announced yesterday that it had shut down parts of its Keystone oil pipeline for the rest of the week as the company investigates a possible leak in South Dakota.
Workers found signs of oil on a small patch of ground about 4 miles from the company’s Freeman pump station after the incident was reported on Saturday, the Canadian pipeline operator said in a statement.
TransCanada reports that a 10 – 30 ft area has been affected. The company said it is excavating soil surrounding the spill to help safely analyse the pipe.
No significant environmental impact has been observed.
The pipeline will remain shut for the rest of the week while the investigation is underway.
Officials are still searching for the cause of the oil leak.
“We’re not exactly sure what’s taken place here, so we are taking this very seriously, and it’s something we want to take care of as soon as possible,” said TransCanada Spokesperson Shawn Howard.
Contractors drilled a hole over the spill area to reach the pipeline, which is buried under 9 ft of soil, but Howard said crews did not locate any cracks or other damage that could cause a leak.
“At this point, we don’t even know if there is a leak in the pipeline itself. We don’t know where the product has come from, so that’s something we have to figure out,” Howard said.
Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner
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