| HOUSTON, March 8
HOUSTON, March 8 Shell Pipeline, a subsidiary of
Royal Dutch Shell Plc, said on Friday it has shut a
part of its Houma-to-Houston (Ho-Ho) pipeline for a temporary
period after a small crude oil leak.
Shell's report to the U.S. National Response Center estimated
that a single barrel of oil had leaked, as the crew saw a pool
about 10 feet in diameter in the soil.
"At approximately 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 7, Shell
Pipeline isolated a segment of the Houma-to-Houston (Ho-Ho)
pipeline after air patrol noticed an indication of crude oil
leakage near Iowa, Louisiana," company spokeswoman Kayla Macke
said in an email.
Tim Beckstrom, spokesman for the Louisiana Department of
Environmental Quality, corroborated that Shell had isolated the
leak and that an oil response crew was en route for cleanup.
"This is being handled as a non-emergency spill" and the
cause is under investigation, he said.
There were no injuries reported due to the incident and the
company has activated its emergency response plan, Macke added.
Shell is reversing the pipeline's flow to carry Texas crude
to Louisiana from Houston. A Texas portion of the 300,000
barrels-per-day (bpd) line was shut last November in
anticipation of the reversal, which is part of an ongoing
realignment of infrastructure to move booming inland U.S. oil
output to markets.
The Ho-Ho line, which has carried Gulf of Mexico crude to
Texas from Louisiana, will move light-sweet crude from Texas
shale and tight oil plays to Louisiana.
Last week Shell launched a supplemental open season to
solicit bids from shippers for another 75,000 bpd of capacity.
That season will end March 27.
Shell also is planning another pipeline, Westward Ho, to
initially carry up to 300,000 bpd of crude from St. James,
Louisiana, to refiners just across the Texas state line. If
approved, that pipeline is slated to start up in 2015.