Published: Mon, November 04, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Keystone pipeline leaks 383,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota

Keystone pipeline leaks 383,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota

A drop in pressure was detected by the control center of the pipeline's operator, TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, about 9:20 p.m. local time on Tuesday, the company announced.

In 2017, a Keystone crude pipeline leak in rural South Dakota spilled almost 6,600 barrels, the PHMSA data showed. "The leak has been contained", said Karl Rockeman, the director of the state Department of Environmental Quality's division of water quality.

It's created to carry crude oil across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri on the way to refineries in Patoka, Ill. and Cushing, Okla.

It can handle about 23 million gallons (87.06 million liters) daily.

About 4,200 gallons (15898.26 liters) of crude oil has been recovered from the spill, Glatt said.

Pipeline operator TC Energy is seeking to expand its pipelines linking Western Canadian oil fields to U.S. refineries with its proposed Keystone XL project.

The oil spill occurred on a part of the already existing Keystone pipeline, and not the Keystone XL - an addition to the pipeline system that TC Energy is planning to build despite years of protests against it from indigenous people and climate activists.

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In November 2017, the pipeline spilled more than 200,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota, in a similarly sparsely populated area.

Another leak in 2016 prompted a weeklong shutdown of the pipeline.

"This is exactly the kind of spill we are anxious about when it comes to Keystone XL being built", Joye Braun, an Indigenous Environmental Network frontline community organizer, told CNN.

The Trump administration has worked hard to try and push the project through since Donald Trump was sworn in as President. The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is leading the inquiry at the site, Rockeman said. Canada is the biggest foreign provider of oil to the United States, with exports to the USA averaging about 3.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018, according to the federal Canada Energy Regulator. "It is one of the larger spills in the state", he added, according to The Hill.

The company said net income came in at $739 million for the quarter ending September 30, compared with $928 million for the same quarter a year earlier.

The Sierra Club said the latest spill was an example of why the Keystone XL should not be built. "We've always said it's not a question of whether a pipeline will spill, but when, and once again TC Energy has made our case for us".

The company has not said when pipeline operations would restart, but told shippers that service to Midwest refiners would remain shut during the outage. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, took to Twitter to condemn the pipeline and vowed to shut it down if elected.

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