UPDATE 1-Colonial shuts main gasoline line second time in 2 days

HOUSTON Thu May 16, 2013 5:57pm EDT

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HOUSTON May 16 (Reuters) - Colonial Pipeline shut its main gasoline line on Thursday to investigate a possible leak, the company said, as it was already fixing a leak in another area of the line that prompted a brief shutdown on Wednesday.

Colonial, which transports U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline and distillates to the Northeast, said the line could remain shut until mid-morning Friday to allow for excavation and repairs if needed.

Colonial shut Line 1, the gasoline line, at about 4 p.m. EDT after an analysis of inspection data revealed a "possible integrity issue" near Opelousas, Louisiana. Line 2, which transports distillates, was unaffected.

The data did not reveal a leak, but Colonial shut the entire line to excavate the area to investigate further. That process could take 12 to 18 hours, the company said.

"The whole line is shut down until that time," Colonial spokesman Steve Baker said.

Colonial shut the entire line on Wednesday for an hour when a small amount of gasoline was found between Houston and Hebert, Texas, near Beaumont. Once the leak was isolated at a block valve site, Colonial restarted the line east of Hebert and began excavating at the leak site to conduct repairs if needed.

Colonial said the Louisiana issue was unrelated to the leak near Hebert. That repair remains under way.

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