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Keystone pipeline oil to flow to US again Tuesday

Oil Export, Oil Pipelines,By Barry Ellsworth,

Trenton, Canada : Crude oil will start flowing again through the Keystone XL pipeline Tuesday after it was shut down earlier this month due to a 210,000-gallon spill in South Dakota.

TransCanada Corporation said Monday in a release that the repair and restart plans “have been reviewed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) with no objections, permitting a safe and controlled return to service of the Keystone System.”

But TransCanada said that as a precaution, the restart would be at reduced pressure “to ensure a safe and gradual increase in the volume of crude oil moving through the system”.

The pipeline, which carries crude oil from the Alberta Oil Sands in Canada to Houston, Texas, normally handles 590,000 barrels per day.

The spill, which occurred Nov. 16, was the largest in South Dakota’s history.

The off-again, on-again TransCanada pipeline has had a controversial history.

The company proposed a route through Montana to increase capacity. It was turned down by President Barack Obama in 2015 but reversed by President Donald Trump.

TransCanada also proposed a route through Nebraska, and despite the South Dakota spill, the state gave its approval but threw a wrench into the works when it approved an alternate route.

Canadian media reported Tuesday that TransCanada asked that the Nebraska Public Service Commission reconsider its ordered route change.

But TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha said the company is not asking for the route to be reconsidered but rather involves explaining some questions about the change.

The Nebraska approval clears away the last hurdle for the Keystone pipeline to carry about 830,000 barrels a day to the U.S. market.

—AA

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