Fire at Keystone's pipe maker has no impact on pipeline

Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:13pm EDT

The Keystone Oil Pipeline is pictured under construction in North Dakota in this undated photograph released on January 18, 2012. REUTERS/TransCanada Corporation/Handout

The Keystone Oil Pipeline is pictured under construction in North Dakota in this undated photograph released on January 18, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/TransCanada Corporation/Handout

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(Reuters) - Pipeline producer Welspun Corp Ltd said on Monday that a weekend fire at its Arkansas plant would not affect shipment of pipe to construct the controversial Keystone oil pipeline.

"The fire will have no impact on Keystone XL pipe deliveries," said Dave Delie, president of Welspun's Little Rock operations.

"The pipe is all produced and ready to be shipped. It will ship when requested by TransCanada."

TransCanada's Keystone XL line was originally planned to carry 700,000 barrels per day of crude from Canada to refineries and possible export in Texas.

After rejection by President Barack Obama of the overall project on environmental and water concerns about its route through Nebraska, it was decided to build the line in stages.

In March, Obama threw his support behind the southern half of the line, which would drain a glut of oil in the U.S. mid-section fed mostly by the oil boom in North Dakota.

Two of the three permits needed to build the southern leg of the pipeline have been granted. Construction is expected to begin on the rebranded Gulf Coast project this summer.

The fire at Welspun's Arkansas facility began on late Saturday afternoon and was contained in an electrical control room.

A large number of fire units responded to the fire, according to Little Rock Fire Captain Jason Weaver, because of the size of the structure, but left after it became apparent the fire was under control.

(Reporting By Janet McGurty; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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