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TransCanada working to analyze Keystone pipeline spill in South Dakota

TransCanadaCorp. said the footprint of an oil spill near its Keystone pipelinein South Dakota has not changed recently and it is working to excavate theconduit for further analysis.

The Calgary, Alberta-based company said visible oil on thesurface of the spill site in Hutchinson County, South Dakota, is limited toabout a 10 foot-by-30 foot area. Crews that include specialists fromTransCanada's engineering, environmental management and safety departments areat the location about four miles from the Keystone pump station near Freeman, atown of about 1,300 in the southeastern portion of the state.

"We have been keeping our shippers and customers up todate and have communicated that the pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to Cushing,Oklahoma and to Wood River/Patoka, Illinois is expected to remain shut downthrough the end of the week," TransCanada spokesman Mark Cooper said in anApril 4 email. "This does not affect the Marketlink pipeline system, whichuses the facilities of the southern leg of the Keystone system from Cushing tothe Gulf Coast."

The incident was first reported at approximately 12:30 p.m.CDT on April 2. TransCanada said it immediately began the process to shut downthe pipeline, activated its emergency response procedures and dispatched groundcrews to the area. The company reporteda spill of about 187 gallons to the U.S. Coast Guard's National Response Centerthat day, according to a report by CNN Money. TransCanada said no significantimpact to the environment has been observed and there is no threat to publicsafety or security.

"TransCanada will continue to provide state and federalregulators such as PHMSA [Pipeline and Hazardous Materials SafetyAdministration] with accurate and confirmed information and ensure they arefully aware of all of TransCanada's plans and activities," Cooper's emailsaid. "TransCanada appreciates the collaborative support of localofficials and commissioners in Hutchinson County, as well as local landownerswho have given permission to access lands for assessment, identification andclean-up activities."

The Keystone network, which would have includedthe failed C$8 billion Keystone XL line, can carry as much as 590,000barrels per day from Hardisty, Alberta, to refineries in Illinois and storagefacilities in Cushing, Okla. A southern leg can carry as much as 700,000 bbl/dfrom Cushing to the Houston area. The U.S. Department of State in 2015 denied aneeded permit for Keystone XL, which would have carried oil sands crude acrossa more direct route and boosted the network's capacity.