BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Tesoro Corp. on Friday restarted a North Dakota crude oil pipeline that ruptured and spilled more than 20,000 barrels of oil in a North Dakota wheat field.
The San Antonio-based company shut down the 35-mile long underground pipeline on Sept. 29, after a farmer discovered oil seeping from the ground in his wheat field near Tioga, in the northwest corner of the state.
Tesoro said it had received and accepted a safety order from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration that sets conditions to restart the pipeline.
Oil began coursing through the pipeline Friday morning, Tesoro spokeswoman Elizabeth Watters said, minutes after the company issued a statement that it accepted the federal agency's safety plan, which requires such things as frequent aerial and ground inspections and additional leak detection equipment.
The federal agency, which oversees pipelines throughout the country, did not immediately return telephone calls from The Associated Press on Friday.
Federal regulators have said a preliminary investigation shows a possible lightning strike might have caused the rupture in the 6-inch-diameter steel pipeline that runs from Tioga to a rail facility outside of Columbus, near the Canadian border.
Tesoro said in a statement that the damaged portion of the pipeline was removed and sent to an independent laboratory for analysis. Tesoro has said the hole in the 20-year-old pipeline was a quarter-inch in diameter.
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