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.

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