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Chevron Crude Pipeline Shut After Salt Lake City Leak

Chevron Corp. shut down a crude oil pipeline after a leak was detected near a creek in Salt Lake City, according to Lisa Harrison Smith, a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office.

Chevron workers reported the spill at 11:23 p.m. local time yesterday, said Captain Michael Harp of the Salt Lake City Fire Department. Firefighters were able to contain the fuel before it reached Red Butte Creek, he said.

“This pipeline happens to cross a lot of our watershed areas, so it literally could affect, if there is a spill, a million people’s drinking-water supply,” Mayor Ralph Becker said in a telephone interview today.

The San Ramon, California-based company does not anticipate any impact on Salt Lake City refineries, Justin Higgs, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail.

“At this time, we are uncertain when the pipeline will be back in service,” Higgs said.

It was the second leak in six months on the 10-inch line, Harrison Smith said. The pipe was shut from June 12 to June 21 and the mayor’s office reported an estimated 800 barrels of crude leaked.

Sean Comey, another company spokesman, said at the time that an electrical arc may have caused the June spill.

Tesoro Corp.’s 58,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Salt Lake City receives a small volume of crude from the common carrier Chevron pipeline, Mike Marcy, a Tesoro spokesman, said in an e-mail.

Tesoro doesn’t expect any difficulty supplying customers and meeting contractual obligations while the line is out of service, Marcy said.

The cause of the leak is under investigation while the cleanup continues, Harp said.

“Over the last few months we’ve been in the process of evaluating this line and others in the area,” Becker said. “This obviously creates a whole new sense of urgency.”

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