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Shell's Ho-Ho pipeline still shut after leak

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[March 11, 2014]  NEW YORK (Reuters)  Royal Dutch Shell's <RDSa.L> entire Houston-to-Houma crude oil pipeline remained shut on Monday, following a reported leak late last week, the company said.

Construction crew members accidentally punctured the Ho-Ho line near Port Neches, Texas, about 100 miles east of Houston, on Thursday afternoon, releasing about 364 barrels of crude oil.

"I am unable to speculate on how long the line will remain shut down," said Destin Singleton, a Shell spokeswoman.

The company has deployed absorbent booms and vacuum trucks to the site of the leak to contain and recover the crude, Singleton added.

The Ho-Ho system, which includes a 360,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) pipeline from Port Neches, Texas, to Houma, Louisiana, was shut for planned maintenance earlier this year, barely a month after Shell reversed the line's flow and began commercial service.

The pipeline system also includes a 500,000 bpd line from Houma to the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port's (LOOP) Clovelly hub in Louisiana, and a 300,000-bpd segment from Houma to St. James, Louisiana.

Shell had discovered another leak near one of the pipeline's pumping stations in Channelview, Texas, in February.

(Reporting by Selam Gebrekidan; editing by G. Crosse)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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