TransCanada Corp. is digging up a portion of the Keystone oil pipeline in South Dakota after an inspection identified potential issues with the pipeline's coating.
The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is ordering the energy company to further inspect the route north of Britton, said Brian Walsh, spokesman for the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He told Aberdeen American News that there aren't any reported leaks.
TransCanada spokesman Matthew John said crews are conducting "standard monitoring and inspections" of the pipeline, which carries crude oil more than 2,600 miles from Alberta, Canada, to Oklahoma and Illinois.
"We perform aerial and physical inspections of facilities, preventive maintenance and investigative digs on a regular basis to verify the integrity of our facilities, which is part of our responsibility as an infrastructure operator," John said.
The Keystone pipeline section being investigated is about 15 miles north of where a crack last year caused an estimated 407,000 gallons of oil to spill near Amherst in Marshall County. It's the seventh-largest onshore oil or petroleum product spill since 2010 , according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The crack likely originated from mechanical damage to the pipe exterior caused by a metal-tracked vehicle during installation, according to a report released this month by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The property affected by the oil spill has been cleaned up, John said.
An investigation into the pipeline failure by the federal pipeline safety administration is ongoing.