TC Energy restarts Keystone pipeline extension after oil leak repairs

In this photo taken by a drone, cleanup continues in the area where the ruptured Keystone pipeline dumped oil into a creek in Washington County, Kan., Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-DroneBase

TC Energy Corp. says it has restarted the southern extension of its Keystone pipeline after repairing a Dec. 7 leak that led to the worst oil spill in the pipeline’s history.

The Calgary-based company says it will operate the pipeline under plans approved by U.S. regulators, including additional safety measures such as reduced operating pressure.

TC Energy restarted most of the 4,324-kilometre Keystone pipeline system on Dec. 14, while the 154-km Cushing Extension, running from just south of Steele City, Nebraska to Cushing, Oklahoma, had remained shut following the leak.

Click to play video: 'Lengthy Keystone pipeline shutdown could impact western Canadian oil producers'
Lengthy Keystone pipeline shutdown could impact western Canadian oil producers

The cause of the estimated 14,000-barrel spill, which eclipsed a 2017 6,600-barrel spill in North Dakota and a 2019 4,500-barrel spill in South Dakota, is still under investigation.

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The company says it is committed to remediate the spill site in Washington County, Kansas, which includes a stream and agricultural land.

A report released last year from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GOA), a congressional watchdog agency, said Keystone’s accident history has been similar to other crude oil pipelines since 2010, but the severity of spills has worsened in recent years.

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