Shell shuts Gulf crude pipeline after leak

Royal Dutch Shell Plc shut a 170,000-barrel-a-day pipeline that moves Gulf of Mexico crude to Houma, La., after the pipe leaked in Terrebonne Bay.

Shell shut the 16-inch (41-centimeter) pipeline, which starts on Caillou Island, at about 5 p.m. March 23 after a light oil sheen was observed near a pump station, Kim Windon, a Houston-based spokeswoman for Shell, said in an e-mail. Less than a gallon of crude was released based in initial information, she said.

Shell plans to inspect and repair the pipeline as soon as possible, weather permitting, and is investigating the cause of the leak, Windon said.

The Caillou-to-Houma pipeline connects with a 20-inch pipeline that brings crude from producers in Eugene Island, Ship Shoal, Green Canyon and other Gulf formations to Caillou Island.