Exxon partially restarts Louisiana North Line

HOUSTON Mon May 7, 2012 4:47pm EDT

A view of the Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown, Texas September 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

A view of the Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown, Texas September 15, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

HOUSTON (Reuters) - ExxonMobil Pipeline Co (XOM.N) has partially restarted the North Line oil pipeline after it was shut down more than a week ago because of a leak in rural Louisiana, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

"Over the weekend, ExxonMobil Pipeline Co restarted the portion of the North Line crude pipeline which runs from St. James, Louisiana, to Anchorage, Louisiana," spokeswoman Claire Hassett said in an email.

The 160,000 barrel per day North Line, which serves five refineries including ExxonMobil's huge Baton Rouge facility, was shut on April 28 by a 1,900-barrel leak near Torbert, Louisiana.

Refinery operators had said they were able to keep operating despite the shutdown.

The stretch of North Line that was reopened extends northward from St. James to near Baton Rouge. The stretch affected by the leak, northwest of Baton Rouge, remained shut, the spokeswoman said.

ExxonMobil Pipeline last week restarted its South Line, which had been shut in April for planned inspection. The line runs from Raceland northward to Anchorage.

The shutdowns involved mostly Heavy Louisiana Sweet crude, the price of which had appeared little affected by the interruptions.

(Reporting by Bruce Nichols)

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