Tuesday, May 24, 2011

North Dakota Public Service Commission orders probe of oil pipeline leak

BISMARCK, N.D. - State regulators have opened a formal investigation of an oil pipeline accident in southeastern North Dakota. A fitting failure at a pumping station in TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone pipeline spilled more than 14,000 gallons of oil.

North Dakota's Public Service Commission voted on May 13 to investigate the accident.

Commission Chairman Tony Clark said the move allows the commission to take testimony and gather evidence about the accident. It also allows North Dakotans who are interested in the spill to take part in the case.

The pipeline was shut down when the spill happened on May 7.

The oil release happened at the TransCanada Ludden Pump Station.

The oil spill was caused by a damaged three-quarter-inch fitting, and TransCanada has re-inspected all similar fittings at all of its pump stations in the United States and Canada, installing stronger fittings where appropriate, the company said.

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