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Company says South Dakota pipeline spill 'small in scope'

FREEMAN, S.D. - TransCanada officials have still not found a cause behind an oil spill southwest of Freeman, but evidence suggests the incident is "small in scope," according to officials.

TransCanada workers continued excavating a section of the Keystone oil pipeline Tuesday near Freeman after oil was discovered above ground on Saturday afternoon. No cause was discovered as of Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of TransCanada spokesperson Mark Cooper)
TransCanada workers continued excavating a section of the Keystone oil pipeline Tuesday near Freeman after oil was discovered above ground on Saturday afternoon. No cause was discovered as of Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of TransCanada spokesperson Mark Cooper)

FREEMAN, S.D. - TransCanada officials have still not found a cause behind an oil spill southwest of Freeman , but evidence suggests the incident is "small in scope," according to officials.

Workers on Tuesday were unable to find cracks or damage that could cause a leak to the Keystone pipeline in question that has been shut down. TransCanada began excavating around part of its oil pipeline Monday after standing oil was reported in a field Saturday afternoon about 5 miles southwest of Freeman or about 50 miles southwest of Sioux Falls.
"Through the work, it has also been re-affirmed that the incident is being controlled and that there is no significant environmental impact observed and no threat to public safety," said TransCanada Spokesperson Mark Cooper.
"Crews are working 24/7," Cooper said, and are excavating several feet of soil at a time to expose segments of the pipeline to determine the source of the oil.
"While the source of the oil has not been pinpointed yet, evidence currently suggests the incident is small in scope," Cooper said.
A numerical estimate of the amount of oil spilled was not readily available as of Tuesday evening.
The section of pipeline was immediately shut down after oil was discovered in a 30 foot by 10 foot area of field land, and it is expected remain closed until later this week.
The Keystone pipeline runs from Alberta, Canada, to Texas, running through eastern North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska in the Midwest. The pipeline’s capacity is 550,000 barrels per day. It was unclear how TransCanada will adjust its oil flow because of the shut down, Cooper said.

Related Topics: FREEMANSOUTH DAKOTA
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