HOUSTON (Dow Jones)
TransCanada Corp. (TRP, TRP.T) successfully restarted its Keystone pipeline Sunday after U.S. government officials reversed a decision made on Friday to bar the company from reopening the line.
The 1,300-mile Keystone pipeline, which transports crude oil from Alberta to Cushing, Okla., had been shut after leaking 10 barrels of oil in Kansas on May 29. Flow will be gradually ramped up in the coming days and TransCanada will be able to move all volumes nominated by its customers for the month of June, the company said late Sunday.
The leak, along with an earlier one of 400 barrels of oil in North Dakota on May 7, caused the Transportation Department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to issue a so-called corrective action order, the company's first since at least 2002, barring a resumption of the flow of oil.
The government reversed its decision Saturday, however, saying it would allow TransCanada to reopen the 591,000 barrel-a-day pipeline Sunday morning.
"Every pipeline incident is unique," she said. "In this case, the failure did not raise concerns for the integrity of the pipeline."
The Keystone line has had 11 spills within the same number of months, but the company has categorized each as "minor," with most of the oil confined to the immediate property, TransCanada President and Chief Executive Russ Girling said in a statement.
"None of the incidents involved the pipe in the ground--the integrity of Keystone is sound," Girling said.
On Friday, TransCanada said it had replaced the parts along the pipeline that it said had caused the two spills and was reviewing the pipeline for similar issues.
TransCanada is seeking approval from the U.S. Department of State to expand the Keystone system to 1.1 million barrels a day and to extend it from Cushing to refineries on the U.S. Gulf coast. A decision is expected this year.
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