Keystone Oil Pipeline to Attempt Partial Restart After 14,000-Barrel Spill


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(Bloomberg) — TC Energy Corp. is planning to restart one leg of the shuttered Keystone oil pipeline beginning Saturday, following a 14,000-barrel crude spill, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company, which declared force majeure on shipments Thursday, expects to restart flows Dec. 10 on the segment of the line extending to Patoka, Ill., said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential matters. The leg of the pipeline that extends to the Cushing, Okla., storage hub is expected to restart Dec. 20, they said. 

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US oil futures tumbled to the lowest level in about a year as news of the restart eased US supply concerns. The massive crude pipeline, which can carry more than 600,000 barrels a day, is a major conduit linking oil fields in Canada to refiners in the US Gulf Coast. A prolonged disruption would have eaten away at crude stockpiles in Cushing, Oklahoma, the nation’s largest storage hub. Inventories there are at their lowest since July — and at multi-year lows seasonally. 

The line was shuttered Wednesday night after a leak was discovered in Washington county, Kansas. The 14,000-barrel leaks ranks as one the largest onshore US oil spills since 2010, according to government data. 

“Plans for return-to-service continue to be evaluated,” TC Energy said in a statement on its website. 

Cleaning is currently underway and there’s no estimate for when it will be concluded, said Randy Hubbard, a manager at the Emergency Management Office for Washington County. The leak took place on private property, on  an underground segment of the line. An investigation on the cause of the spill is ongoing, he said. 

—With assistance from Robert Tuttle, Sheela Tobben and Devika Krishna Kumar.

(Adds company comments in penultimate paragraph)


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