Keystone Pipeline resumes operations after leak repaired

By Patrick C. Miller | November 28, 2017

TransCanada Corp. announced today that the Keystone Pipeline carrying crude from Canada to the U.S. will begin operating at a reduced pressure.

The pipeline was shut down Nov. 17 after a 5,000-barrel leak was discovered in Marshall County near the town of Amherst, South Dakota. The Keystone Pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta, to Cushing, Oklahoma, and to Wood River and Patoka, Illinois.

TransCanada said repair and restart plans have been reviewed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) with no objections, allowing the company’s Keystone system “a safe and controlled return to service.”

Under the reviewed plans, TransCanada said it will begin to operate the pipeline at a reduced pressure starting Tuesday. The volume of crude will be gradually increased to ensure safety.

A TransCanada news release said the company is communicating its plans to customers and will continue working closely with them as the pipeline begins returning to normal operating conditions.

To ensure the integrity of the pipeline, TransCanada said it will comply with any future PHMSA orders and requirements related to the incident “to ensure the integrity of the pipeline.” The company has not disclosed the cause of the leak.

To halt and repair the leak, TransCanada specialists from emergency management, engineering, environmental management and safety were assisted by contractors and nationally recognized experts.

TransCanada said it provided state and federal regulators—including PHMSA and the National Response Center (NRC)—with information about the leak on an ongoing basis.