TransCanada shuts down its existing Keystone pipeline as a precaution
TransCanada assures you that the Keystone XL pipeline, if ever built, will be safe and pure and shoot out dollar coins along 20-yard intervals. Spill? What’s a spill? Everything will be lovely and cool. Don’t worry about it. The Canadian company knows it can argue for reliability because, look, it’s been doing this a long time, guys. It has miles and miles of pipeline already operational, including Keystone OG, the original, smaller pipe. (“Keystone OG” is a name that I just made up, but that I hope sticks.)
Well, Keystone OG is usually operational, anyway — just not for the next three days. From the Washington Post:
TransCanada Corp. has temporarily shut down its existing 2,100-mile Keystone pipeline after tests showed possible safety issues, a federal agency said Thursday.
Jeannie Layson, spokeswoman for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which oversees pipelines in the U.S., said no leaks were detected on the line, which moves on average about 500,000 barrels of crude a day from Alberta, Canada, down through several states to facilities Illinois and Oklahoma. …
She said the possible problems were located on the stretch of pipeline that extends between Missouri and Illinois.
A federal inspector was deployed to review test results, observe repairs and monitor any additional necessary safety issues, Layson said. PHMSA did not have additional details on what the possible safety issues were.
One possible safety issue: a giant future oil spill, I’d imagine.
TransCanada wants to make sure you’re not bugging out unduly.
“We found a small anomaly on the outside of the pipe after analyzing the data from an in-line inspection tool,” [Grady Semmens, spokesman for Calgary-based TransCanada,] said in an email. “As a precaution, we’ve shut down the line so we can go in and take a closer look.”
The Post article doesn’t say, but we assume “small” was underlined and italicized and in red.
One little bit of trickiness in the repairs:
Heavy storms that have hit the area recently “are not helping” the operation, [Semmens] said.
Good to know that extreme weather events make it harder to fix problematic oil pipelines. Bodes well.
According to reports I’m making up right now, men wearing TransCanada overalls were seen buying up and destroying every Washington Post containing this article in Nebraska and on Capitol Hill.