Oil spill reported from Keystone pipeline in North Dakota


North Dakota regulators say the Keystone pipeline leaked more than 1.4 million litres (383,000 gallons) of oil in the northeastern part of the state.

The company says the spill has been contained and its cause is unknown. But the initial estimate makes it one of the biggest onshore crude spills in the past decade and the largest for Keystone, according to U.S. Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration (PHMSA) data.

The impacted wetlands are located less than 50 miles from the Canadian border and are not a source of residents' drinking water, according to Karl Rockeman of the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality's water division.

Glatt said pipeline owner TC Energy shut down the pipeline after the leak was detected. The company shut the pipe system from Hardisty, Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma and to Wood River/Patoka, Illinois. Keystone was invovled in a February 2019 spill in Missouri that shut a segment of the line.

The Keystone outage also disrupted flows on the Marketlink pipeline, which has a capacity to flow 119 million lpd and is connected to Keystone, roiling oil prices at the delivery point for USA crude futures. After the Keystone spill in South Dakota in 2017, prices widened from about $11 a barrel to more than $25 a barrel. The project has been a top target of environmentalists, who argue that the pipeline would contribute to catastrophic climate change.

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While the most recent spill is not associated with the Keystone XL pipeline yet, the Sierra Club noted in a Wednesday statement that its section - "Keystone 1" - and its repeated spills are a clear reason why the pipeline's expansion via the Keystone XL project should not take place.

No new export pipelines out of Canada are planned until late next year at the earliest, when Enbridge Inc.'s Line 3 is scheduled to start operation.

The exact amount of oil released will not be available until recovery has been completed, TC Energy said in a statement on Thursday.

-With assistance from Michael Bellusci and Sharon Cho.