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TransCanada Restarts Keystone

TransCanada has restarted a section of its Keystone oil pipeline that was shut down after a leak of about 43 barrels of crude occurred in Missouri earlier this month, Reuters reports, citing TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha.

The Keystone pipeline transports some 600,000 bpd of crude oil from Alberta to Illinois and the shutdown reduced the flow to 590,000 bpd.

The leak will likely serve to reinforce opposition to new pipeline projects on both sides of the border, especially since a couple of years ago a Reuters report revealed that the Keystone pipeline had leaked more often and higher amounts than TransCanada had calculated in its risk assessment submitted to U.S. regulators before the pipeline began operation nine years ago.

In the seven years between 2010 and 2017, when the report came out, the Keystone network from Alberta to Texas had experienced three major leaks, of which the biggest was of 5,000 barrels that occurred in South Dakota late November 2017, and two of about 400 barrels each in North Dakota in 2011 and South Dakota in 2016.

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline was planned to expand the original Keystone network but it seems its future has been called into question again: earlier this month, District Judge Brian Morris banned the company from conducting some preliminary construction work on the project although it allowed it some other activities such as preparing storage and container yards and taking deliveries of pipelines. It cannot, however, prepare sights for construction camps as the lawsuit launched by Native American tribes and environmentalists against the company continues.

The 830,000 bpd pipeline will run from the Albertan oil sands through Montana and South Dakota, ending in Nebraska, where it would connect to the existing pipeline network that goes on to the Gulf Coast as long as the court approves the new environmental impact assessment it ordered the State Department to make.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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