Crews cleaning up Keystone Pipeline leak in Marshall County

Crews cleaning up Keystone Pipeline leak in Marshall County

TransCanada shut down part of its Keystone pipeline after an oil leak of about 5,000 barrels Thursday in Marshall County, South Dakota.

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

TransCanada has not given a reason for the incident, which occurred days before the Nebraska Public Service Commission was due to announce a decision on Keystone XL, a 830,000-barrel expansion through the state.

The leak, which it said happened about 35 kilometres south of its Ludden pump station on a right-of-way, comes as Nebraska Public Service Commission is set to vote on the Keystone XL project on November 20 to clear the last major regulatory hurdle for the $8 billion project.

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At least 210,000 gallons of crude oil derived from oil sands-a thicker, sticker type of oil than conventional crude-spilled from the pipeline into an agricultural area, according to South Dakota's environment and natural resources agency. The pipeline is not yet ten years old - and has leaked dozens of times, spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons along its route. That's the equivalent of 5,000 barrels of oil. A portion of the pipeline enters eastern Nebraska at the South Dakota border and exits at Steele City. The company said it's working with state regulators and the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to assess the situation.

The Keystone pipeline has leaked in South Dakota before, as recently as last spring.

The pipeline is a segment of the 2,687-mile TransCanada system that is set to also include the controversial proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which is promised to be the safest pipeline ever built in North America by the company.

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