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TC Energy has restarted a segment of the Keystone oil pipeline that was not affected by the leak that caused the shutdown of the piece of infrastructure earlier this month.
“TC Energy has communicated with its regulators and customers about today’s restart of the Keystone Pipeline System sections unaffected by the Milepost 14 Incident. This restart facilitates safe transportation of the energy that customers and North Americans rely on. This section extends from Hardisty, Alberta, to Wood River/Patoka, Illinois,” the pipeline operator said in an emailed statement.
TC Energy shut down Keystone on December 8 following the detection of a leak into a creek in Kansas, near the border with Nebraska where the pipeline splits into two branches. Later the size of the leak was calculated at some 14,000 barrels of crude and it had spread downstream before being contained, which happened later the same week.
In the meantime, TC Energy continues to investigate the leak and repair the affected section, the company also said in its statement. “This segment will not be restarted until it is safe to do so and when we have regulatory approval from PHMSA,” it said.
The company still has no timeline for the full restart of the pipeline and has not made public the cause of the leak.
The Keystone pipeline, running across 2,687 miles from Alberta’s oil sands country to the U.S. Midwest is a key piece of oil infrastructure with a capacity of over 600,000 barrels daily. It carries Canadian crude to refiners in Illinois, Oklahoma, and Texas, as well as the Gulf Coast.
The pipeline shutdown pushed oil prices higher although the rise was mitigated by a massive build in U.S. oil inventories, as estimated by the Energy Information Administration. At 10.2 million barrels, the build was one of the largest this year.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com