CALGARY – The U.S. pipeline regulator has given TransCanada approval to restart its Keystone pipeline system Saturday morning, a week after an oil leak was reported in South Dakota.
Initially, the Calgary-based company will be required to operate the cross-border line at reduced pressure to make sure it’s working properly, but full operations are expected to resume by the end of the day.
TransCanada spokesman Mark Cooper says the company will conduct aerial patrols and visual inspections while the pipeline is restarted.
The company (TSX:TRP) estimates about 63,600 litres — or 400 barrels — of crude leaked about 60 kilometres southwest of Sioux Falls, S.D.
It said crews dug up about 84 metres of pipe to find a small leak.
TransCanada says there’s been no threat to public safety or apparent significant environmental impact and that the cleanup and restoration is underway.
“TransCanada appreciates the support of impacted landowners, community members and local authorities who have collaborated to ensure our crews are able to continue their work,” said Cooper.
“TransCanada also appreciates the understanding demonstrated by its customers as we worked to ensure we resolved this incident as quickly and safely as possible.”
The Keystone system has been in operation since 2010.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which was rejected by U.S. President Barack Obama in November, would have been an expansion to the existing system, providing a more direct route for oilsands crude to reach Gulf Coast refineries.