CALGARY, Alberta, May 10 (UPI) -- The Keystone XL oil pipeline planned for the United States will have state-of-the-art leak detection systems on its network, a spokesman said.
Pipeline planner TransCanada is awaiting a U.S. federal decision to build its pipeline to carry so-called tar sands oil to southern U.S. oil refineries.
Critics of the pipeline worry that the type of oil designated for the pipeline is more corrosive than regular crude oil and therefore more likely to lead to a spill.
TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said issues raised by the Environmental Protection Agency and others didn't take the company's commitment to safety very seriously.
"Keystone XL will have a state-of-the-art leak detection system, and we will also evaluate new and evolving leak detection technologies to potentially augment the best-in-class leak detection capabilities of its current systems," he said.
Since TransCanada started the review process roughly four years ago, spills in Michigan and Arkansas have raised concerns about pipeline safety. The Michigan oil spill in 2010 caused about 20,000 barrels of tar sands oil to seep into the surrounding environment. The March rupture of the Pegasus oil pipeline caused about 5,000 barrels of oil to leak.
There have been roughly a dozen spills from the existing Keystone pipeline.
Howard said TransCanada invested more than $1.4 billion in leak prevention technology from 2011-12.