TransCanada Keystone pipeline leaks 795000 litres of crude oil in South Dakota

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TransCanada said that crews shut down the Keystone pipeline Thursday morning after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from an oil leak that's under investigation in South Dakota.

The Keystone pipeline has leaked more than 200,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota, the company for the project said on Thursday. The estimated volume of the leak is approximately 5,000 barrels.

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 leak occurred about 3 miles southeast of the community of Amherst. This northern leg has been closed, said the company, but the southern leg of the system from Cushing to the Gulf Coast remains operational.

The company said the pipeline will remain shut down for the time being.

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The same pipeline leaked about 17,000 gallons a year ago near Freeman, South Dakota.

Keystone carries crude from the oil sands in Canada to refineries in IL and Texas, and to a distribution center in Oklahoma.

"Regulators in the neighboring state of Nebraska are expected to announce a decision on the company's proposed Keystone XL pipeline next week". Investigators determined a weld problem was to blame in that spill.

The conduit is not the controversial and long-delayed Keystone XL Pipeline which TransCanada is still shepherding through the approval process.

The leak occurred just a few days before the Nebraska Public Service Commission is scheduled to make a November 20 announcement of its decision on whether to approve a permit to allow construction of the controversial long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline.

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