Keystone restarts after 'mechanical issues'

AP News
Posted: Nov 09, 2011 4:29 PM
Keystone restarts after 'mechanical issues'

A pipeline that carries tar sands oil from Canada through seven states was temporarily shut down for "mechanical issues," the pipeline's owner said Wednesday.

TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone pipeline, which brings oil from Canada's Alberta province to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma, was shut down following a power outage Tuesday, spokesman Terry Cunha said. The pipeline was restarted Wednesday morning and company officials were working to find the cause of the problem, he said.

"There was no spill _ none," Cunha said in an email. "We will work to make up deliveries this month and expect no further interruptions."

Crude began flowing through the 2,148-mile-long, $5.2 billion pipeline last year. It's designed to carry crude oil across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri on the way to refineries Patoka, Ill. and Cushing, Okla. The line is capable of handling 591,000 barrels a day.

The shutdown came as the Calgary-based company seeks to build the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Texas. The proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline has drawn opposition from people who fear it will harm the environment. The U.S. State Department is considering whether to approve the project.

The original Keystone pipeline was shutdown in May, after it spewed more than 14,000 gallons of oil in southeastern North Dakota, near the South Dakota border.

TransCanada blamed the spill on a failed fitting at a pumping station and said it was stopped nine minutes after being by monitors and reported by a nearby resident. Most of the spill was contained by a berm around the pumping station, but some oil mist had to be cleaned from standing water in a nearby field, the company said.

Together, the Keystone and the Keystone XL would be about five times the length of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. The massive pipeline network is designed to move 1.5 million barrels of Canadian oil daily to U.S. refineries.