Thursday evening, Reuters reported the Pipeline had leaked crude oil into a creek in Washington County, Kansas. TC Energy shut down the Pipeline at about 8 pm CST Wednesday.
Reuters noted that in 2019, the Pipeline leaked about 9,120 barrels in North Dakota. In 2017, it leaked about 9,700 barrels in South Dakota.
News reports indicated that the leak is “about 20 miles south of a key junction in Steele City, Nebraska.” It is at that junction that crude oil moves either south or east. Canadian firm TC Energy transfers oil from Canada through the United States to processing plants on the Gulf of Mexico and in the mid-west.
How much oil does the Keystone Pipeline carry?
The Keystone Pipeline carries only about 3% of daily U.S. consumption.
How often has the pipeline leaked?
1. The first rupture was small and early. In 2011, about 500 barrels of oil leaded “due to a failed fitting at a North Dakota pumping station.”
2. In 2016, about 400 barrels of oil escaped the pipeline in Hutchinson County, South Dakota.
3. In 2017, “mechanical damage from original construction” caused a leak in South Dakota. Original reports estimated that leak at about 5,000 gallons. TC Energy later revised the estimate to about 9,700 barrels.
4. In 2019, there were two leaks. The first, about 42 barrels, happened in St. Charles County, Missouri.
5. The second took place in North Dakota. At about 9,120 barrels, it was “was one of the biggest onshore crude spills in the last decade.” The U.S. Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration (PHMSA) began tracking these data in 2010.
6. The latest leak is larger than both the North Dakota event from three years ago and the South Dakota one from five years ago.
How long has the Keystone Pipeline been operational?
Initially commissioned in 2010, the pipeline “runs from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin in Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas, and also to oil tank farms and an oil pipeline distribution center in Cushing, Oklahoma.”
The first phase (2,147 miles) allowed up to 590,000 barrels of crude oil daily to travel from Alberta, Canada, to oil refineries near Patoka, Illinois, via a junction in Steele City, Nebraska.
The next phase (291 miles), moves crude “to the oil hub and tank farm in Cushing, Oklahoma.” It was completed in February 2011. This is where oil from US producers is added.
Finally, the pipeline runs from Oklahoma to terminals in Nederland, Texas, (435 miles) so that it can be refined Port Arthur, Texas. It was completed in 2014.
There is also a 47-mile extension to server refineries near Houston, Texas. It came online in 2017.
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