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Keystone Pipeline Oil Leak Has Now Been Contained

Canadian pipeline operator TC Energy said it had contained the leak from the Keystone pipeline that occurred in the middle of last week, spilling 14,000 barrels of crude into a creek.

The leakage was contained in Kansas, NBC News reported, citing the company, which had to shut down the pipeline while it worked on fixing the leaky section.

"The discharge has been contained, and no drinking water has been impacted," the Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement this weekend.

The 2,687-mile Keystone Pipeline System plays a key role in connecting Alberta’s crude oil supplies to U.S. refining markets in Illinois, Oklahoma, and Texas, as well as connecting U.S. crude oil supplies from the Cushing, Oklahoma hub to refining markets on the U.S. Gulf Coast through the Marketlink Pipeline System.

The piece of infrastructure has a capacity of more than 600,000 bpd of Canadian heavy crude daily, which is why its shutdown pushed oil prices higher, albeit modestly since most observers seem to expect a quick restart of the flow.

The accident is likely to reignite the pipeline debate between environmentalists and proponents of U.S. energy independence, which in the recent past fuelled the Dakota Access protests and President Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.

"There is no such thing as a safe tar sands pipeline and this is another disaster that continues to prove we must put our climate and our communities first,” a representative of the Sierra Club said in comments on the news.

TC Energy has not provided a timeline for the restart of the Keystone pipeline. It has also not yet found the cause of the leak, Reuters reported on Sunday.

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"Our teams continue to actively investigate the cause of the incident. We have not confirmed a timeline for re-start and will only resume service when it is safe to do so, and with the approval of the regulator," TC Energy said in a statement.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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