TransCanada Calls Possible Keystone Leak In South Dakota ‘Rare’ Incident

TransCanada is investigating a possible oil leak along their Keystone Pipeline in southeastern South Dakota. A portion of the pipeline has been shut down after a landowner in Hutchinson County reported seeing oil on the surface this weekend.

A TransCanada spokesperson is calling this a rare incident. After the Keystone Pipeline was built, there were some small leaks at some of their pump stations. But other than that, they haven’t had anything like this happen.

TransCanada received a report from a landowner Saturday just after 12:30 p.m. Oil had been discovered on the surface along the Keystone Pipeline, about four miles south of the Freeman Pump Station. After confirming the report, the company says the pipeline was shut down immediately.

TransCanada Spokesperson Shawn Howard said, “We can shut down that pipeline within minutes. What we do is we isolate upstream from where something is suspected and downstream so no additional product moves back and forth in the pipeline.”

TransCanada has around 100 people, crews from Michigan, Nebraska and as far away as Canada at the site. They say they’ll have people on site 24 hours a day to remove the oil and to determine where it came from.

“This is something that we are taking extremely seriously, mobilizing a lot of people and equipment,” said Howard.

While the pipeline is about 9 feet beneath the surface, right now they have about a 25 foot long by 6 to 8 foot wide hole in the ground.

Howard said, “We’re also drilling some holes along the way to try to determine if there’s any material that has spread.”

TransCanada says as of right now they haven’t seen a significant impact to the environment.

“We’re responding to something on our Keystone System. We’re trying to determine what’s happened and it’s going to take a little time to figure that out,” said Howard.

A portion of the Keystone pipeline that transports oil from Alberta, Canada to Oklahoma will be shut down for the majority of the week. The section that connects to Texas remains in operation.

The Keystone Pipeline is separate from the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.

TransCanada is asking anyone in the area who is concerned about the incident to call the community information line at 1-855-895-8754. We’ll have updates on this story as they become available.