TransCanada is responding to an oil leak on part of the Keystone Pipeline in Amherst, South Dakota. The leak was reported Nov. 16, with an estimated volume of approximately 5,000 barrels. The affected pipeline is located in the northeast part of the state, less than 20 miles from the northern border.
Crews shut down the pipeline at approximately 6 a.m. Central after a drop in pressure was detected in its operating system resulting from an oil leak that is under investigation. The section of pipe along a right of way approximately 35 miles 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, according to a company statement. 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 stated it 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.
The Keystone Pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta, to Cushing, Oklahoma, and to Wood River/Patoka, Illinois, is expected to remain shut down as TransCanada responds to this incident. The leak 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.
TransCanada stated that “safety of the public and environment are our top priorities.” The company will continue to provide updates as they become available.