Buckeye Shuts 12-Inch Crude Oil Pipeline in Illinois

Buckeye Partners LP said it shut a 12-inch crude oil pipeline near Romeoville, Illinois, after discovering a leak in the conduit, which supplies Citgo Petroleum Corp.’s Lemont refinery.

Early estimates indicate that 21,000 gallons of oil may have been released as a result of the spill, Anne Rowan, a spokeswoman with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, said in an e-mailed statement.

Although the spill appears “to be largely contained, EPA will continue around-the-clock operations to clean up the affected area,” she said in the statement.

Buckeye operates the pipeline, which is about 3 miles long and runs between the Shell Lockport Tank Farm and the Lemont refinery, on behalf of West Shore Pipeline Co., Colleen Kester, a spokeswoman for Buckeye, said in a telephone interview.

“We are still investigating the cause of the leak,” she said. “We are primarily concerned with maintaining the site.”

The leak was reported at about 6:30 a.m. today and the line shut immediately, Jerry Ashcroft, Buckeye’s vice president for operations, said in an e-mail. Buckeye shut the line down by 8 a.m., Rowan said.

Maggie Carson, a spokeswoman for the Illinois EPA, said a preliminary report indicated the spilled crude was contained in a ditch.

Cleanup crews responded to the spill and the Des Plaines River has not been affected, she said in an e-mail.

Fernando Garay, a spokesman for Citgo, declined immediate comment on whether refinery operations were affected. Kevin Allexon, a spokesman with Exxon Mobil Corp., said there was “no impact” to company’s Joliet refinery by the pipeline closure.

Romeoville is about 30 miles southwest of Chicago.

To contact the reporter on this story: Samantha Zee in San Francisco at szee@bloomberg.net; Paul Burkhardt in New York at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.

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