TransCanada reports the Keystone pipeline has spilled an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil, or about 210,000 gallons, in South Dakota.
The spill comes just prior to an announcement by the Nebraska Public Service Commission on whether the PSC has approved TransCanada’s proposed route through the state to complete construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
TransCanada says it is investigating the cause of the leak near Amherst, South Dakota. The company reports crews noticed a drop in pressure early Thursday morning and moved to shut down the pipeline. The original Keystone pipeline runs from Hardesty, Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma as well as Wood River, Illinois.
Keystone XL, an $8 billion project, would run from western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska where it can be connected to the southern portion of the pipeline which is already carrying crude from Oklahoma City to refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas.
President Obama refused to give TransCanada permission to the cross the border and build the pipeline, saying approval would undermine the United States’ leadership on environmental issues. President Trump reversed the decision. Still, TransCanada does not have a route through Nebraska. The PSC held hearings on its preferred route in August.
The PSC has scheduled an announcement on TransCanada’s Keystone XL route request Monday morning.
TransCanada released this statement on the Keystone leak:
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.